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George Washington Whitman to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman, 24 February 1865

Dear Mother,

I arrived here yesterday from the Hotel De Libby and if ever a poor devil was glad to get in a Christian Country it was me.

I am perfectly well Mother although I am in the Hospital Buildings, and am not under Medical treatment. The reason that I am quartered here is that the Hotels and Boarding Houses in town are cramed full,  I stay here for one dollar and a half a day while the Hotels charge three or four dollars and we are just as comfortable as I want to be. I drew 2 months pay to day and bought a new suit of clothes and now I feel something like a white man.

I made an application this morning for a leave of absence for 30 days and I expect to be home in the course of 3 or 4 days.

We left Danville on the 19th of this Month and stopped in Richmond untill the morning of the 22d. On our arrival at Richmond I found 2 boxes filled with Clothing and grub for me and the way we went into the eatables while we were in Libby was a caution.

Mother I am very anxious indeed to hear from you all and wish you get to write or Telagraph to me (as soon (as you get this) as possibly I may get it if you write before I leave here.

I have lots of yarns to tell you Mother but will wait untill I get home as I cant do justice to the darn Rebs, in a letter.

You cant imagine how I want to see you and Mattie and the children and all the rest.

Good Night Mother give my love to all G. W. Whitman

Direct Officers Hospital  Annapolis Md2


  • 1. George Whitman was paroled in a general prisoner exchange on February 22, 1865. [back]
  • 2. Louisa Whitman sent this letter on to Walt Whitman. On the verso she wrote: "Walter i should have sent you this letter from george but thought of course you knew all about his arrival at Anapolis  i saw his name in the times with 500 others arrived)  my not hearing from you we thought you had gone there to see him . . . ." See Jerome M. Loving's Introduction to The Civil War Letters of George Washington Whitman (Durham, North Carolina: Duke State University Press, 1975). [back]
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