Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Justus F. Boyd to Walt Whitman, 1 June 1864

Date: June 1, 1864

Whitman Archive ID: tex.00146

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), 113. 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, Kathryn Kruger, Blake Bronson-Bartlett, and Nick Krauter

Friend Whitman

I1 just received a letter from an Uncle of mine that is in Campbell Hospital and enclosed I found an Envelope with your address so I thought I would write a few lines to you I shall expect an answer from this I shall look with all the eyes I have got for the answer until I receive although I may look for the next year & a half as I have done and then not get any answer I would give a considerable to see you about two hours

There is a friend of mine just gone to Washington he has got an appointment as clerk in the Treasury he is about 20 years of age he got a member of Congress to work for him. You dont think I can get a place as clerk then in the Patent office in Treasury or Paymasters do you

This young man that I wrote to you about was offered a clerkship in The Paymasters department but he could get a larger salery in the Treasury Department

What has become of Mr OConnors People are they still in washington if they are give them my love Please send me your Photograph if you will I shall be very much obliged If this letter gets to you and I receive an ans I will send you my Photograph the next time I write. Please send me Mr & Mrs. OConnor's Photograph if they will let you have them to send one.

I am having first rate times here in Byron I have to work pretty hard but I dont care anything about that I am in a Dry Goods store at present there isnt any clerk but one but we expect to have more soon I have those books that you gave me yet I am a going to keep them until I see you again.

There has been about a Dozen customers in since I commenced writing and I dont only barely get to writing and I have to get up so you must excuse this and I will try and do better next time. Yours Truly


1. Justus F. Boyd was a soldier in the 6th Michigan Cavalry. Whitman wrote the following entry on Boyd in a notebook that he kept shortly after his appointment to the Christian Commission, January 20, 1863 ("Walt Whitman Soldier's," Thomas Biggs Harned Collection of Walt Whitman, The Library of Congress, Notebook #99, sheets 1098–1133): "Corp. Justus F. Boyd bed 22 co. D 6th Michigan cavalry been in five months, four sick, affection of kidneys and pleurisy—wants some paper and envelope and something to read gave him 12 sheets paper, & 12 envelopes & three of them franked by Sumner." [back]


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