America ssick and wounded sons, it will say that he did even better. In December, 1862, Walt learned that his brother. Captain Georore Whitman, had been wounded at the battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, and hurried down to find him and nurse him back to health. At the dreary camp at Falmouth, he came into contact for the first time with the suffering, the horror and the heartbreak of war. Some of the most poignant poems in Drum Taps reflect the emotions which surged through the poet during those nine days on the banks of the Rappahannock. He followed the wounded up to Washington, and when he saw the thousands and thousands of young boys in blue and grey in the hospitals and sick camps that crowded the city, he quickly made his decision to remain and minister to the wounded. Like his Quaker forbears, he found that his call was to save life rather than take it. All through those terrible months of battle of 1863-4 he humbly served as nurse, comforter and comrade to the thousands of sick and dying men who were pouring into Washington from the Virginia battlefields by every boat and train. There was little time to write poetry, but his thoughts often turned to Drum Taps, the book of verse which he had planned back in Brooklyn when the War first began. In January, 1865, he wrote to a friend: It may be Drum Taps may come out this winter yet. ...
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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