Military Records

Walt Whitman Letter

This letter was discovered in February, 2016, by a National Archives volunteer who is part of a team preparing Civil War widows' pension files to be digitized and placed online.


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Page 1 of Walt Whitman letter, written for a dying soldier

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Page 2 of Walt Whitman letter, written for a dying soldier

Washington, Jan. 21, 1865 (sic)

My Dear Wife,

You must excuse me for not having written to you before. I have not been very well + did not feel much like writing – but I feel considerably better now – my complaint is an affection of the lungs. I am mustered out of service, but am not at present well enough to come home. I hope you will try to write back as soon as you receive this + let me know how you all are, how things are going on – let me know how it is with mother. I write this by means of a friend who is now sitting by my side + I hope it will be God’s will that we shall yet meet again. Well I send you all my love + must now close.

Your affectionate husband,
Nelson Jabo

Written by Walt Whitman
a friend.