The Arlington Historical Society (AHS) will host Garrett Peck, who will present “Walt Whitman in Washington, D.C.: The Civil War and America’s Great Poet” at its next public program on Thursday, September 10.
Whitman was already famous for Leaves of Grass when he journeyed to the nation’s capital at the height of the Civil War to find his brother George, a Union officer wounded at the Battle of Fredericksburg. Whitman eventually served as a volunteer “hospital missionary,” making more than six hundred hospital visits and serving over eighty thousand sick and wounded soldiers in the next three years. With the 1865 publication of Drum-Taps, Whitman became poet laureate of the Civil War, aligning his legacy with that of Abraham Lincoln. He remained in Washington until 1873 as a federal clerk, engaging in a dazzling literary circle and fostering his longest romantic relationship, with Peter Doyle.
Garrett Peck is an independent historian, author of six books, and a board member of the Arlington Historical Society. He leads tours through The Smithsonian Associates and Politics & Prose, including favorites such as the Walt Whitman Tour, the Jazz History Tour, Alexandria’s Historic Breweries Tour, and the Temperance Tour of Prohibition-related sites in the nation’s capital. Copies of Walt Whitman in Washington, D.C. will be available for purchase and signing.
The hour-long program will begin at 7:00 p.m. at Marymount University (2807 N. Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22207). The talk will be held in the Reinsch Library auditorium. Note that this is a seasonal change-of-venue from Arlington Central Library. The program is free and open to the public. For additional AHS information, please contact 703-942-9247.
For those who take public transit: A free shuttle bus provided by Marymount University is available from the Ballston-MU Metro Station (Orange and Silver lines). The University is also accessible via Metro bus routes 23A and 23T; exit at the N. Glebe Road and Old Dominion Drive stop.
For those who drive: Marymount University provides free parking. Attendees should enter the main entrance gate (located at N. Glebe Road and Old Dominion Drive) and park in the main lot in front of The Lodge. If that lot is full, visitors may also park in the White Garage, located next to the Reinsch Library, or the Blue Garage, located under Ostapenko Hall. The Security Station at the main entrance can help direct where to park.