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Walt Whitman to Garaphelia Howard, 4 May 1866

My dear friend,1

Your contribution of $20 for the soldiers in hospital, sick or wounded, has been received—& I thank you for it most sincerely. I shall apply it to their aid, faithfully & with care.

I was out to Harewood yesterday week, & last Sunday—the patients have however since been removed to another place, near the Old Douglas hospital. Then there are the Providence hospital, & the 5th Reg. Cavalry, & some other small, military hospitals.

There are comparatively few soldiers now that need ministering to, but full enough to occupy one's spare hours—& especially as half of the inmates of the hospitals are discharged soldiers, drawing no pay, though sick, or suffering sometimes very deeply indeed, from relapses of old wounds.

I wish you health, my friend, in body & in spirit. Farewell.

Walt Whitman


  • 1. Garaphelia "Garry" Howard was one of Whitman's Washington friends. In a February 11, 1874, letter to Ellen O'Connor, Whitman describes Howard as "a good, tender girl—true as steel." [back]
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