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Lewis K. Brown to Walt Whitman, 10 July 1863

My Dear Freind Walter.

It is with mutch pleasure that I1 take my pen in hand to inform you that I am well and that my leg is mending verry fast I left Washington on the 2nd on the 6 1/2 O clock train but It was the rong train and I had to get of at Haver de gras and stay all night on the Boat or els go on to Wilmington and so I got of and stayed on the boat and as good luck would have it I met 3 men on the boat that I knowed and they maid me verry comfortable that night and then I left the next morning and got home in the evening and I gave Mother a verry agreeable Supprise I was verry tired the next day but I feel well now. I think that I will soon get well hear for I have everything that I want we have a splendid garden and we have a good many cherries in fact every thing, the nice grain fields around the house and every thing looks so well. I have had a good many of my young friends to see me. I have got your picture and I am a going to have it fraimed the first time I get whear I can have it don. I expect to go on a visit up to my GranFathers in about 4 weeks and I think that I will have a nice time up thear. I only wish that you wer hear I am sure that you would enjoy it for it is so nice or it appears so to me [w]ho has been pennd up in the Hospital for 10 months. My Father and Mother are well and send their respects to you for Mother says whoeve[r] did me a faivor or was a friend to me was one to her and you have bin a friend in nead and that is a friend indead. I expect that you still visit the Hospital if so give my respects to the boys I have nothing more to write at present so I will have to close hoping verry soon to hear from you so good by and God bless you from your affectionet friend

Lewis K Brown

care of James McPauley P.S. pleas excues this bad writing as well as spelling  I have just herd of the fall of Vicksburg and I am g[l]ad of it and Simple Mead has drove the rebbels out of Pennsylvania.


  • 1. Lewis Kirke Brown (1843–1926) was wounded in the left leg near Rappahannock Station on August 19, 1862, and lay where he fell for four days. Eventually he was transferred to Armory Square Hospital, where Whitman met him, probably in February 1863. In a diary in the Library of Congress, Whitman described Brown on February 19, 1863, as "a most affectionate fellow, very fond of having me come and sit by him." Because the wound did not heal, the leg was amputated on January 5, 1864. Whitman was present and described the operation in a diary (Thomas Biggs Harned Collection of Walt Whitman, The Library of Congress, Notebook #103). Brown was mustered out in August 1864, and was employed in the Provost General's office in September; see Whitman's September 11, 1864. The following September he became a clerk in the Treasury Department, and was appointed Chief of the Paymaster's Division in 1880, a post which he held until his retirement in 1915. (This material draws upon a memorandum which was prepared by Brown's family and is now held in the Library of Congress.) [back]
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