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Walt Whitman to Charles W. Eldridge, 28 June 1864

Dear comrade

I have been improving for the last two days, & think I shall be up & around soon, as well as ever—I have had the services of a good physician, who has allowed me to get well quite naturally—he decided that the only thing needing serious watching was the throat, & had prepared if the disease there went beyond a certain point to call in a skilful New York doctor, for consultation, but fortunately we were saved the trouble—I felt a good deal like myself the most of yesterday, & the same to-day—so I don't think I am hurrahing before I am out of the woods.

We have a letter from my brother George, down to 18th inst. he was all safe.2 My mother & folks are all well—

I rece'd the letter enveloped to me 25th—I sent a line to Wm O'Connor, 25th, which I suppose he rec'd—has Nelly gone yet? I shall write to her next time—remember me to Ashton3 with friendship—also to Arnold Johnson4 with sincere thanks & tell him I am getting well—& give my best respects & thanks to Major Hapgood.

Walt Whitman


  • 1. The envelope for this letter bears the address: Charles W. Eldridge | care Major Hapgood | Paymaster U S Army | Washington | D C. It is postmarked: Brooklyn | Jun | (?). [back]
  • 2. On June 18, 1864, George wrote to his mother of additional engagements of his regiment, and was confident that "it will not be long before the long covetted City of Petersburg will be in our possession. I notice by the papers that our Corps is very little spoken of, but for all that they have done some splendid fighting, although we seem to be rather outsiders here in the Army of the Potomac." [back]
  • 3. J. Hubley Ashton, the assistant Attorney General, actively interested himself in Whitman's affairs, and obtained a position for the poet in his office after the Harlan fracas; see Whitman's letter from June 9, 1865 . [back]
  • 4. Arnold Johnson was a friend of the O'Connors and private secretary to Senator Summer; see Clara Barrus, Whitman and Burroughs—Comrades (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1931), 10. He was listed in the 1866 Directory as a clerk in the Treasury Department. [back]
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