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Walt Whitman to Captain William Cook, 27 February 1865


Could you give me a little further information about my brother Capt. George W. Whitman, 51st New York, who gave you the slip you sent from Annapolis Feb. 19, with his & mother's address, Feb. 14th? Why did not he, & the other officers, 51st N. Y., come up with the main body, for exchange? Were the other officers 51st there at Danville, time you left? Please tell me all you know, or think probable, on this subject of why they did not come? Have they been sent further south, to avoid exchanging them, or are they still at Danville? Was my brother really well & hearty? Was Lieut. Sam'l Pooley, 51st N. Y., there, & how was he? Do you know whether my brother got letters & boxes we sent him? Was he in the attempt to escape, Dec. 10, last? My dear sir, if you could take a leisure half hour & write me, soon as possible, what you know on these, or any points relating to my brother, it would deeply oblige me—address1

Walt WhitmanWashington D C


  • 1. Cook replied, on the back of Whitman's letter (Charles E. Feinberg Collection; Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden [Boston: Small, Maynard & Company, 1906–96], 3:202–203), that he assumed George was now in Annapolis, since all the Danville prisoners had arrived there on February 23 and 24, 1865. George had written to his mother from the Officers' Hospital in Annapolis, Maryland, on February 24, 1865. He had left the Danville prison on February 19, stopped at Richmond for three days, and arrived in Annapolis the day before. By oversight on his mother's part, George's letter was not sent to Whitman immediately. [back]
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