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Hugh B. Thomson to Walt Whitman, 13 December 1866

Mr. Walt Whitman, My Dear friend

Your kind favor of the 11th inst came duly to hand, and was followed next day by your copy of "Drum Taps."1 Accept of my thanks for both it was more certainly than I could expect from a comparative stranger to me.—and yet not a stranger, for I am hailed as a soldier and comrade

there is the link that binds me to you in a bond of unity and good feeling. May it never be severed by an unloyal act of mine, let our password be "Goodwill," and when called upon to sunder all earthly ties, when the last "long roll" is called in which there will be no "missing" may we be found in the ranks of the Captain of our Salvation, ready to enter upon an eternity of bliss and where parting is no more.

I shall be pleased to see you when in our city, and in anything that I can contribute to your happiness in all things command me. With Many Regards, Respectfully Yours


  • 1. Hugh B. Thomson, who may have been a patient at Armory Square Hospital between 1862 and 1863, also wrote to Whitman on July 22, 1869: "You will not remember the writer of this letter....I won't forget Walt Whitman. I have just read that you completed your half century. May you live to a ripe old age, loving and beloved. I was reading 'Drum Taps' last night, no man can depict Army life so vividly that had not spent his time amongst the boys" (Yale). See also Thomson's letter of December 5, 1866. [back]
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