Whitman's Civil War Experience

Walt Whitman's Memoranda During the War, 1876

"Of the present Volume most of its pages are verbatim renderings from such pencillings on the spot…I have perhaps forty such little note-books left, forming a special history of those years, for myself alone, full of associations never to be possibly said or sung. I wish I could convey to the reader the associations that attach to these soil'd and creas'd little livraisons,… Even these days, at the lapse of many years, I can never turn their tiny leaves, or even take one in my hand, without the actual army sights and hot emotions of the time rushing like a river in full tide through me."

From the introduction to Walt Whitman’s memoir of his experiences as a volunteer nurse, Memoranda During the War, 1876. Learn more about Whitman and his works at the Whitman Archive.

Letter from Walt Whitman to John Swinton, 1865

Letter from Whitman to John Swinton, managing editor of the New York Times, asking him to contact General Grant on behalf of his brother George Whitman, then held at the Confederate prison at Danville, V.A., 3 Feb. 1865.

Letter from Walt Whitman to Julia Elizabeth Stilwell, 1863

Letter from Whitman to Julia Elizabeth Stilwell regarding the condition of her brother Jimmy, a patient at the Armory Square Hospital in Washington, D.C., 21 Oct. 1863.

Sketch of Carver Hospital, Washington, D.C.

Sketch of Carver Hospital, Washington, D.C., drawn Oct. 23, 1862. Carver Hospital was one of the hospitals Whitman visited during his time as a nurse. From the Bell Miller Papers.