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George Washington Whitman to Charles W. LeGendre, 27 February 1863

Lieut Colonel Chs LeGendre2  
 commanding 51st Regt New York Vols  

Having been always with the Regiment since the Organization of it at New York which is now over 18 months, and in all the time never have been excuse from any duty whatever and having urgent business at home which demands my immediate attention, I beg leave of asking you hereby the favor of granting me, leave of absence for ten Days

Very respectfully Your obedient servant George W. Whitman  
 Capt Co K, 51st N. Y. V.


  • 1. This letter is part of George W. Whitman's official military record. [back]
  • 2. Charles W. LeGendre (1830–1899), born in France and educated at the University of Paris, was a soldier who helped to recruit the Fifty-first New York Volunteer Infantry. LeGendre was severely wounded at New Bern, North Carolina, on March 14, 1862, as George observed in his letter of March 16–18,1862, to his mother, Lousia Van Velsor Whitman (Trent Collection of Whitmaniana, Duke University Rare Books, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library). LeGendre was appointed lieutenant colonel on September 20, 1862, and later succeeded Edward Ferrero (see Walt Whitman's letter to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman from December 29, 1862) and Robert B. Potter (see Walt Whitman's letter to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman from May 26, 1863) as commanding officer of the Fifty-first Regiment. During the second Battle of the Wilderness, May 6, 1864, he lost his left eye and the bridge of his nose, and was honorably discharged on October 4 of the same year. See Whitman's account of LeGendre's hospitalization in his letter to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman, May 13, 1864 . [back]
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