Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Thomas Jefferson Whitman to Hannah Heyde Whitman, 15 May 1864

Date: May 15, 1864

Whitman Archive ID: wcu.00002

Source: Hunter Library at Western Carolina University. Transcribed from digital images or a microfilm reproduction of the original item. 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

May 15, 1864

Dear sister Han,

Mother duly received your last letter and glad were we to hear from you again. Of course the great topic of thought and talk with us all just now is about George. We yesterday received a letter1 from Walt saying that he had heard from George up to last Tuesday at noon and that up to that time he was all right. He had lost quite a number of his company—his first Lieutenant—but was himself unhurt. Oh I do so hope that George may get through safe. What a blessing twill be if he does escape—and yet I hardly dare hope—it does not seem possible that one can go through so much and come out entirely unharmed, but oh for mother's sake I do so hope he may escape. Mother is getting very old and I fear the worst results if anything should happen to George. If we hear anything more be assured I will not fail to write you at once.

So Han you have got a mansion of your own—I hope you won't get proud and not shirk to your poor relations. Well Han, since we have seen each other I have also been doing pretty well. I have a wife and two babies to see to. Think of that with butter at 40°—However we manage to move along—I am still in the water office—engineering— have a pleasant place and a pretty good time. I am much worried dear sister to see that you don't get much better—that you are so unwell. I was in hopes that when the spring came that you get all right again. You must keep up your courage and take good care of yourself and you will come around all right in a short time. I see you feel pretty bad about George's not coming down to see [you]. Poor fellow, he wanted to come bad enough but when he was on he had a long time to get his company mustered in or out. I believe the next day after he got through with that he was ordered to recruit in Brooklyn. Did you know that the officers did not have any furlough? They did not and had to report for duty regularly—yet George did not expect to leave so soon and thought he would be about to get leave to visit you.

Han, write to mother (and me too) as often as you can. Mother is pretty well, much better I think than we have reason to expect at her age. We often talk about you and wish that you would come on and see us. Mother often speaks of coming on to see you and if George comes out all right, you need not be thrown into a flurry if you see an old lady and young man (perhaps good looking) coming along your way—that would be mother and George, or mother and I (if I then the part in bracket comes in). Good bye dear sister—write us soon—all send their love—affectionately your brother Jeff.


1. This letter is to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman, dated May 12, 1864[back]


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