Skip to main content

Walt Whitman to John Townsend Trowbridge, 3 March 1865

My dear Trowbridge,

Your letter has reached me—my best thanks for your contribution to the wounded & sick, & shall be applied in most needy cases. You speak of seeing Dr. Russell1—has he not rec'd a N. Y. Times of two months since containing a sketch of my Visits to Hospitals2—I thought one had been sent him. If he has not had one I should like to send one to him. The paragraph in the Gazette by Mr Shillaber is very kind. I do not wish you to send me any of the papers. Nothing new or special with me—I believe I told you I was working a few hours a day, a sufficiently remunerative desk in Indian office—I spend a couple of hours day or evening in the hospitals. Farewell.

Walt Whitman Washington, D.C.


  • 1. See Whitman's letter from December 3, 1863 . [back]
  • 2. Whitman's reference is to "Our Wounded and Sick Soldiers—Visits among the Hospitals," which appeared in the New York Times on December 11, 1864. The piece was reprinted as "Hospital Visits" in Richard Maurice Bucke, ed., The Wound Dresser: A Series of Letters Written from the Hospitals in Washington (Boston: Small, Maynard & Company, 1898) and Bucke, ed., The Complete Writings of Walt Whitman (New York, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1902), 7:101–127. On December 30, 1864, O'Connor had informed Whitman that he had read this letter "with a swelling heart and wet eyes. It was very great and touching to me. I think I could mount the tribune for you on that and speak [a] speech which jets fire and drops tears. Only it filled me with infinite regrets that there is not a book from you, embodying these rich and sad experiences. It would be sure of immortality. No history of our times would ever be written without it." [back]
Back to top