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Walt Whitman to a Soldier, late 1865 (?)

. . . Blue coats are getting quite scarce in Washington. I envy you the fresh country air, healthy influences, and, I doubt not, the fine scenery and quiet. I am in that part of the office where pardons are attended to. There is a stream of rebels passing in all the time to be pardoned. All of the Confederates who are worth more than $20,000 in property have to have a special pardon, and all who have been officers of the rank of Brigadier-General and upwards the same. There are some real characters among them, and you know I have a fancy for anything out of the ordinary. A good many women come up to Washington to look after pardons. All are dressed in deep black. Then there are bushels of applications arriving by every mail. When they are recommended by the Provisional Government or by some well known Union men they get them. There are 3,000 or 4,000 waiting for the President's signature now. He is not in any hurry to sign them.

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