Whitman wrote two volumes of poetry about the Civil War: Drum Taps (1865) and Sequel to Drum Taps (1866), after witnessing first-hand the suffering, bravery, wastefulness, heroism, and tragedy of war while working in hospitals during the Civil War.
Observations of poet Walt Whitman, in 1865:
’’Unnamed, unknown, remain and still remain the bravest soldiers. Our manliest, our boys, our hardy darlings: no picture gives them. Likely, the typical one of them (standing, no doubt, for hundreds, thousands) crawls aside to some bush-clump or ferny tuft on receiving his death-shot; there, sheltering a little while, soaking roots, grass, and soil with red blood; the battle advances, retreats, flits from the scene, sweeps by; and there, haply with pain and suffering…the last lethargy winds like a serpent round him; the eyes glaze in death;…and there, at last the Bravest Soldier, crumbles in Mother Earth, unburied and unknown.’’