Aired: July 4, 2009

Whitman at War

whitmanIn 1862, poet Walt Whitman went to Fredericksburg, Virginia, searching for his brother George who had been wounded in a Civil War battle. Whitman was so moved by the carnage he found that he worked as a nurse for the rest of the war.   Mara Scanlon and Brady Earnhart (University of Mary Washington) say Whitman was helping heal wounded soldiers in the same way he hoped his poetry could heal the war-torn nation. Also featured: This is the 200th anniversary of the birth of 19th-century poet and author Edgar Allan Poe.  Jerome McGann (University of Virginia) says Poe, whose influence is probably unmatched by any American author, was more charming and humorous than his famous dark fiction suggests.


Want to dig deeper? Explore Encyclopedia Virginia:

First Battle of Manassas (1861)

Battle of Fredericksburg (1862)

Civil War Medicine

Edgar Allan Poe

Southern Literary Messenger


And visit the online exhibit: From Out of that Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Edgar Allan Poe


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