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DEAREST MOTHER I have n't heard any news from home now in more than a week. I hope you are well, dear mother, and all the rest too. There is nothing new with me. I can only write the same old story about going to the hospitals, etc., etc. I have not heard anything since from George have you heard anything further ? I have written to him to Annapolis. We are having it pretty warm here to-day, after a long spell of rain storms, but the last two or three days very fine. Mother, I suppose you got my letter of last Tuesday, 12th. I went down to the Capitol the nights of the debate on the expulsion of Mr. Long last week. They had night sessions, very late. I like to go to the House of Representatives at night ; it is the most magnificent hall, so rich and large, and lighter at night than it is days, and still not a light visible it comes through the glass roof but the speaking and the ability of the members is nearly always on a low scale. It is very curious and melancholy to see such a rate of talent there, such tremendous times as these I should say about the same range of genius as our old friend Dr. Swaim, just about. You may think I am joking, but I am not, mother I am speaking in perfect earnest. The Capitol grows upon one in time, especially as they have got the great figure on top of it now, and you can see it very well. It is a great bronze figure, the Genius of Liberty I suppose. It looks wonderful towards sundown. I love to go and look at it. The sun when it is nearly down shines on the headpiece and it dazzles and glistens like a big star ; it looks quite curious.
Well, mother, we have commenced on another summer, and what it will bring forth who can tell? The campaign of this summer is expected here to be more active and severe than any yet. As I told you in a former letter, Grant is determined to bend everything to take Richmond and break up the banditti of scoundrels that have stuck themselves up there as a " government." He is in earnest about it; his whole soul and all his thoughts night and day are upon it. He is probably the most in earnest of any man in command or in the Government either that's something, ain't it, mother ? and they are bending everything to fight for their last chance calling in their forces from Southwest, etc. Dear mother, give my love to dear brother JefF and Mat and all. I write this in my room, 6th st.
- THE WOUND DRESSER A Series of Letters Written from the Hospitals in Washington During the War of the Rebellion, Walt Whitman, 1898