Sir: whether it agrees with your own opinion or not I hope you will open your columns to this communication of mine, seeking to stir up the government to a general exchange of prisoners. I hope also you may feel to say a word about it editorially—if you could call attention to it.
As I have sent similar communications this afternoon to one or two other papers, I would particularly solicit that you find room for it in tomorrow's issue.2
The text presented here is derived from Edwin Haviland Miller, ed., Walt Whitman: The Correspondence, 6 vols. (New York: New York University Press, 1961–77). For a detailed description of discrepancies between this electronic edition and the print source, see our statement of editorial policy.
A draft of this letter, dated December 26(?), 1864, is held in the Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection, New York Public Library.
1. This is the draft of a letter written to the editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle or the New York Times to accompany a communication entitled "The Prisoners," which was to appear on December 27, 1864 (reprinted by Charles I. Glicksberg, Walt Whitman and the Civil War [Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1933], 178–180). Whitman assailed the Secretary of War and General Butler for their attitudes toward the exchange of prisoners. (Back)