Mr dear Sir
You sometimes find a poor soldier whom a small sum would relieve and I beg you will distribute these pieces of paper as you shall see best on your visits to the Hospital.
The text presented here is derived from a digital image or microfilm reproduction of the original manuscript.
The manuscript of this letter, possibly written on January 15, 1863, is held in the Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
1. As the manuscript of this letter shows, the date of this letter reads simply, "Thursday"; because Whitman responded to George Wood's letter on Saturday, January 17, 1863, we might thereby assume that the date of this letter is most likely Thursday, January 15, 1863. George Wood (1799–1870) worked as a clerk in the Treasury Department in 1822, and he held various posts in that bureau until his death. He was the author of several satirical works, Peter Schlemihl in America (Philadelphia: Carey and Hart, 1848) and The Gates Wide Open; or, Scenes in Another World (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1869); see National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. Undoubtedly he became acquainted with Whitman through Ellen and William O'Connor. Ellen O'Connor mentioned a Mr. Wood in her letter of July 5, 1864. In reply to Whitman's letter, evidently delivered by O'Connor and dated "Thursday"—probably January 15, 1863—Wood wrote: "You sometimes find a poor soldier whom a Small Sum would relieve and I beg you will distribute these pieces of paper as you shall see best on your visit to the Hospital." (Back)