Title: Thomas Jefferson Whitman to Walt Whitman, 2 May 1863
Date: May 2, 1863
Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Thomas Jefferson Whitman, Dear Brother Walt: The Letters of Thomas Jefferson Whitman, ed. Dennis Berthold and Kenneth M. Price (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1984), 52–54. For a detailed description of discrepancies between this electronic edition and the print source, see our statement of editorial policy.
Location: Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Whitman Archive ID: loc.00411
Brooklyn, N. Y.
May 2nd 1863
In your letter to Mother you say that you have written a letter to the Eagle and want me when it is publis[hed] to send you some copies.1 I have neglected writing you thinking every day that it would appear and that I would be able to advise you that I had sent them (Eagles) and the pictures as you wanted. I now begin to think that it will hardly be printed but still I will keep a lookout for it and if it does will send them to you at once. Do you wish me to send the pictures without the papers?
Mr Lane2 received your letter on Thursday morning and sent you $5. the same day and to day he sent you $6 more. I should not wonder if we were able to drop you a few $ every now and then, right along I hope so any way. Everything is going on finely at home. Mother is quite well and Mat is as usual well and hard at work. Sis is growing like a weed and as wild as a hawk. To day Mat happened to look out in front and found her trying by force of arms, to drive a little boy, bigger than she was however, off the front stoop. They say that she was wonderfull indignat at being stopped. She seems to remember you and is very anxious that I should always remember to write you that she has been a nice girl
We do not hear much from George. I suppose that he is farther away from mail communication than he has been heretofore. In his last letter he seemed to be glad to get away from Va.3 and I dont blame him. Andrew, I think, is getting better, slowly, I dont think that he takes very good care of himself even yet. If he would I am sure that he would get better rapidly We have not heard from Han since the letter that I sent you, I suppose she is about the same Mother speaks of sending for her &c and then says she hardly knows what to do. Tis rather a puzzling question I confess. I hope however that she will come home herself before long. It certainly is a great relief not to be cursed with letters from Heyde every few days.
I suppose, dear Walt that you will have more to do in the Hospitals than ever pretty soon. I hardly can see how you can stand seeing so much of the heart-breaking I certainly could not do it. I am sure it would make me sick enough to die. Last Thursday I met Bill Hart.4 He is Major in the 88th N. Y. V. and had been hurt at Kelleys ford. He seemed very glad to see me and said had he known that you were in Washington he certainly should have seen you before this. I gave him your address and he will call on you when he goes through Washington on his return. He looks better than he did when he used to be around Brooklyn. Monday A. M. Yesterday Andrew was at the house he, I think, is somewhat better. Everybody else is getting along as usual, and all send their love. Write.
1. Walt Whitman's letter never appeared in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Edwin Haviland Miller thinks it was eventually submitted to the Brooklyn Daily Union (Walt Whitman, The Correspondence [New York: New York University Press, 1961–77], 1:105 and 1:95, n.3). In addition to requesting ten copies of the Daily Eagle, Walt asked Jeff in a letter dated April 28, 1863 for "5 more of my pictures, (the big ones in the last edition 'Leaves'), & a couple of the photographs carte visites (the smaller ones,)." [back]
2. Moses Lane (1823–82) served as chief engineer of the Brooklyn Water Works from 1862 to 1869. He later designed and constructed the Milwaukee Water Works and served there as city engineer. [back]
3. On April 22, 1863, George wrote Jeff, "Kentucky is the most beautiful country I ever saw, the people seem much more inteligent, and every way better, than in any other part of the South I have ever been. I like Ky first rate…there is none of that devilish, Virginia mud to travell through." [back]
4. William G. Hart, a captain and acting assistant adjutant general in Company K of the Eighty-eighth New York Volunteers, suffered a gunshot wound in the right forearm on December 13, 1862, and was granted twenty days sick leave on December 15. Recently promoted to major, William G. Hart was granted several leaves of absence from March 2, 1863, through June 1863. He had received a spinal injury at Kelly's Ford, a camp near Falmouth, Virginia. [back]