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Walt Whitman to Anson Ryder, Jr., 16 May 1866

. . . As to me, I lead rather a dull life here. I wish you were nearer, that we might be together frequently.1 I do not associate much with the department clerks, yet many appear to be good fellows enough. The contest between Congress and the President is quite exciting. I go up to the Capitol and listen to the speeches and arguments. Sometimes I feel as if one side had the best of it and then the other. Well, my dear comrade, I believe I have told you all the news—of Eicholtz,2 the German sergeant with the bad compound fracture, of Frazee3 and Dr. Smith.4


  • 1. Apparently Anson Ryder, Jr., left Armory Square Hospital and, accompanied by another injured soldier named Wood (probably Calvin B. Wood; see NUPM 2:673), returned to his family at Cedar Lake, New York. [back]
  • 2. Hugo Eicholtz was listed in the Washington Directory of 1869 and in one of Whitman's address books (The Library of Congress # 109). He evidently lived with his mother, a dressmaker. [back]
  • 3. Sergeant Hiram W. Frazee, Second New York Artillery, was wounded in "one of the last battles near Petersburg" (Richard Maurice Bucke, ed., The Complete Writings of Walt Whitman [New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1902], 6:236). [back]
  • 4. Probably Dr. Thomas C. Smith, a Washington physician. [back]
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