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Walt Whitman to James Redpath, 12 October 1863

Your note of Oct 8,1 enclosing Dr Russell's of 4th to you,2 is just rec'd. Yours with $5, some weeks ago, came safely. The generosity of Dr. Russell, Mrs. Curtis, and the other friends, I will briefly say, tells daily & nightly & shall tell to the best of my power, upon my dear boys here, in hospital. I do not miss one day or night. (I guess we, I & the wounded &c, were made for each other.) I have written to Dr Russell, to Mrs Curtis & to Miss Stevenson.3

Do you want to print a little 30 or 50ct book about the scenes, war, camp, hospitals &c (especially the &c.)4

I shall probably remain here, in this thing. I am very happy. I never was so beloved. I am running over with health, fat, red & sunburnt in face &c. I tell thee I am just the one to go [to] our sick boys. Good by, my friend.5


  • 1. James Redpath (1833–1891) was the author of The Public Life of Capt. John Brown (Boston: Thayer and Eldridge, 1860), a correspondent for the New York Tribune during the war, the originator of the "Lyceum" lectures, and editor of the North American Review in 1886. He met Whitman in Boston in 1860 (Thomas Biggs Harned Collection of Walt Whitman, The Library of Congress, Notebook #90) and remained an enthusiastic admirer; see Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden, ed. Sculley Bradley (New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 1961), 3:459–461. He concluded his first letter to Whitman on June 25, 1860: "I love you, Walt! A conquering Brigade will ere long march to the music of your barbaric jawp." See also Charles F. Horner, The Life of James Redpath and the Development of the Modern Lyceum (New York: Barse & Hopkins, 1926). [back]
  • 2. Dr. Le Baron Russell (1814–1819) was a Boston physician who was well acquainted with Ralph Waldo Emerson and James Redpath. Along with other philanthropically minded citizens, Russell sent Whitman money to be used in easing the suffering of the Civil War wounded languishing in the Washington, D.C., area. See Russell's letter to Whitman from October 4, 1863. Russell's letter to Redpath appears in Thomas Donaldson's Walt Whitman the Man (New York: F. P. Harper, 1896), 148–149. [back]
  • 3. See Whitman's letters to Margaret S. Curtis from October 4, 1863, and to Hannah E. Stevenson from October 8, 1863. [back]
  • 4. After this sentence Whitman deleted the following: "Do you want to print my new little volume of poetry 'Ban…" See Whitman's letter to Redpath from October 21, 1863. [back]
  • 5. Endorsed (by Walt Whitman): "to J Redpath | Oct 12 | '63." [back]
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