Walt Whitman's work as a nurse to the wounded soldiers of the Civil War profoundly affected his worldview as well as his poetry. Much less well known is the extraordinary war record of his younger brother George Washington Whitman, who led his men in 21 major battles only to almost die in a Confederate prison camp as the fighting ended. Drawing on the letters between Walt, George, their mother, and other brothers, Robert Roper chronicles the experience of an archetypal American family enduring its own long crisis in parallel with the nation's.
"Via letters and notebook entries, Now the Drum of War fills in important blanks; we end up with a sense of the individual as part of an impressive collective entity called Whitman."—Washington Post Book World