Nonfiction > Walt Whitman > Prose Works > I. Specimen Days > 95. Calhoun’s Real Monument
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Walt Whitman (1819–1892).  Prose Works. 1892.
  
I. Specimen Days
95. Calhoun’s Real Monument
  
IN one of the hospital tents for special cases, as I sat to-day tending a new amputation, I heard a couple of neighboring soldiers talking to each other from their cots. One down with fever, but improving, had come up belated from Charleston not long before. The other was what we now call an “old veteran,” (i. e., he was a Connecticut youth, probably of less than the age of twenty-five years, the four last of which he had spent in active service in the war in all parts of the country.) The two were chatting of one thing and another. The fever soldier spoke of John C. Calhoun’s monument, which he had seen, and was describing it. The veteran said: “I have seen Calhoun’s monument. That you saw is not the real monument. But I have seen it. It is the desolated, ruined south; nearly the whole generation of young men between seventeen and thirty destroyed or maim’d; all the old families used up—the rich impoverish’d, the plantations cover’d with weeds, the slaves unloos’d and become the masters, and the name of southerner blacken’d with every shame—all that is Calhoun’s real monument.”   1

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