More Visits with the Old Fellow (Walt Whitman)

I couldn't resist having our Freeman Colby meet up with Walt Whitman for a tour of the hospitals & some pointers on caregiving:  

<< News from Gettysburg | Meet the Patients >>  
[ AND SOON: Marching orders! >> ]

SOURCE TEXT = Walt Whitman: Memoranda During the War (1875-76) 

Colby's regiment was on hospital duty in early summer 1863, at the same period when Whitman was making daily visits to the wards.
Did they ever cross paths?  
Who knows...
At least, they do in Freeman Colby Vol. 2

Next, we'll take old WW up on his offer...


I draw these hospital scenes from several detailed photographs of Washington D.C. wards: 

 ↑  "A Ward in Armory Square Hospital, Washington, D.C." [] 

This 1863 photograph is my model for Walt Whitman: 

 ↑  "Walt Whitman, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing right, wearing hat" (1863) []  

(My comics refer to Whitman as "the old fellow" -- but a friend pointed out that in July 1863, Whitman was my age, almost to the month at the time I drew this passage!  Sheesh.) 

Finally, if you really want a special "primary source thrill," you can go rummage around in Walt Whitman's very own pocket notebook from 1863!  Here are a few pages recording the various small gifts & treats he planned to bring certain patients on his next visit: 

 ↑   "Thomas Biggs Harned Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman: Notebooks... 1863: Washington hospital notebook" []  / ( Image 17 )  

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