previous next


Bivouac on a mountainside

This picture, aside from the beautiful touches at the close, is to be prized for the record it affords of the large soul of Walt Whitman. He witnessed little of life at the front, but he saw all of the horror of war in the hospitals at Washington, and exhausted his splendid vitality in comforting and aiding the wounded and dying. Yet into his poetry crept no word of bitterness or sectionalism.

I see before me now a traveling army halting,
Below, a fertile valley spread, with barns and the orchards of summer,
Behind, the terraced sides of a mountain, abrupt, in places rising high,
Broken, with rocks, with clinging cedars, with tall shapes dingily seen,
The numerous camp-fires scattered near and far, some away up on the mountain,
The shadowy forms of men and horses, looming, large-sized, flickering,
And over all the sky—the sky! far, far out of reach, studded, breaking out, the eternal stars.

The bivouac in the snow

The representative woman singer of the Confederacy here furnishes a picture in full contrast with the preceding. She was the daughter of the eminent Presbyterian clergyman, Dr. George Junkin, who was from 1848 to 1861 president of Washington College. On the outbreak of the war he resigned and returned North, but his daughter, who in 1857 had married Professor J. T. L. Preston, founder of the Virginia military Institute, warmly championed the cause of her husband and of the South.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Washington (United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Walt Whitman (2)
J. T. L. Preston (1)
North (1)
George Junkin (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1861 AD (1)
1857 AD (1)
1848 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: