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Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Prose Works. 1892.

I. Specimen Days

62. A Yankee Soldier

AS I turn’d off the Avenue one cool October evening into Thirteenth street, a soldier with knapsack and overcoat stood at the corner inquiring his way. I found he wanted to go part of the road in my direction, so we walk’d on together. We soon fell into conversation. He was small and not very young, and a tough little fellow, as I judged in the evening light, catching glimpses by the lamps we pass’d. His answers were short, but clear. His name was Charles Carroll; he belong’d to one of the Massachusetts regiments, and was born in or near Lynn. His parents were living, but were very old. There were four sons, and all had enlisted. Two had died of starvation and misery in the prison at Andersonville, and one had been kill’d in the west. He only was left. He was now going home, and by the way he talk’d I inferr’d that his time was nearly out. He made great calculations on being with his parents to comfort them the rest of their days.