Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Alfred L. Larr to Walt Whitman, 5 March 1864

Date: March 5, 1864

Whitman Archive ID: tex.00142

Source: Walt Whitman Collection, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin. The transcription presented here is derived from Drum Beats: Walt Whitman's Civil War Boy Lovers, ed. Charley Shively (San Francisco, California: Gay Sunshine Press, 1989), 129. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Vanessa Steinroetter, Bev Rilett, Eric Conrad, Kathryn Kruger, and Nick Krauter

My Dear Sir

I1 had the honor to recive the fiew lines you addressed to me, which was delivered by my particular friend Bush through whose instrumentality I am doubtless indebted for this kind and highly appreciated favor from you.2

In my humble opinion there is nothing so well calculated to inspire a soldier with new courage and fresh detirmanation and fit him for the performance of his duty under all circumstances; as the assurance that he has the sympathy and friendship of the aged, who by the infirmaties of age are rendered unfit and incapable of sharing his hard life but are ever ready and willing when occasion offers to extend a word of friendly greeting and bid him God speed

Then kneed I tell you that your friendship is most cordialy accepted and mine freely and cheerfuly given in return with the hope that this partial acquaintance may ripen into a mutual attachment

The preasent you sent me I received for which accept my profound thanks With the hope of hearing from you soon I'll close Yours Truly


1. Whitman described Larr as "friend of Alonzo Bush nicknamed Ray" (Edward F. Grier, ed., Notes and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1961–84] 2:672). Both Larr and Bush were assigned to quartermaster duty in Company I of the 1st Indiana. [back]

2. Whitman identifies Alonzo S. Bush as belonging to "Co A 1st Indiana Cav" (Edward F. Grier, ed., Notes and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1961–84] 2:541). For Bush's first correspondence with Whitman, see December 22, 1863[back]


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