Walt Whitman's Civil War

Walt Whitman's Civil War

Walt Whitman's Civil War

Walt Whitman's Civil War

Excerpt

Walt Whitman's Civil War is not a book about Whitman; it is a new book by him, composed of his own writings gathered from many sources and rearranged in new form. The record of the poet's ministrations to the wounded and his varied responses to the war were dispersed through dozens of notebooks, newspaper dispatches, letters, published and unpublished works. They are here brought together for the first time.

Whitman's writings on the Civil War were eyewitness accounts, arising out of personal experiences. For three years he served as a voluntary visitor and "consolant" to the wounded soldiers in Washington hospitals, with occasional trips to the battlefront.

"The real war will never get in the books," he wrote, ten years after Appomattox. What was the real war to Whitman?

Not primarily the generals nor planners nor politicians; not even Lincoln, whom he loved; not the story of battles and campaigns, but the "divine average"; and not only their courage, devotion, sacrifice, and suffering, but their personalities, their emotional upheavals, and their reactions to the war; the way they survived or died; the millions of personal histories; the young soldiers as he knew them in their critical moments--wounded, friendless, alone. This book reveals how much they were the heart of the war for Whitman.

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.