The Library of Congress holds more than forty of Walt Whitman’s notebooks. Whitman used the notebooks to record his thoughts and observations in prose and in poetry. During the Civil War, Whitman carried small notebooks with him on visits to wounded soldiers in hospitals. He jotted down stories that the soldiers told and took note of treats or supplies that he could bring to the men on return visits.
28th started for Manassas, arriving there 29th. 30th and 31st were engaged in the battle—the troops behaving with great coolness, courage and in perfect order—about 11 oclock at night left the battle field, (being the last regiment that left and having the credit of saving the artillery.) and bivouak’d that night at Centreville. Left the latter place Sept. 1st at 5 a.m. arriving at Chantilly at dusk—here occuring a sharp engagement (Battle of Chantilly) lasting till 10 oclock at night. (It rained furiously, and the conflict was in the woods.)
Walt Whitman, Notebook #94. p149. Poet at Work: Recovered Notebooks from the Thomas Biggs Harned Walt Whitman Collection. Manuscript Division
- Band Music from the Civil War Era provides examples of brass band music played by the armies of both the North and the South during the Civil War. Read about The Civil War Bands in the context of The American Brass Band Movement. Also, search on the terms regiment or battle to find tunes such as the “15th Regiment Quick March.”
- Browse Civil War Maps by subject, place, creator, or title for views of nearly 3,000 Civil War maps and charts as well as atlases and sketchbooks.
- Search on Cedar Mountain, fugitive, Centreville or names of battles in the collection Civil War Glass Negatives and Related Prints . See, for example, the Centreville, Virginia, Confederate Winter Quarters.
- Search Today in History on Civil War to read about battles such as the Battle of Antietam, the Battle of Gettysburg, and the Battle of Bull Run, the first Civil War battle fought in the vicinity of Manassas, Virginia.
- Explore Poet at Work: Recovered Notebooks from the Thomas Biggs Harned Walt Whitman Collection to read from the poet’s musings on the battles and casualties of the Civil War. Read pages 130+ and 149+ in Notebook #94 for observations and stories of the campaign in northern Virginia.