Homer and the Civil War

The following video features the reading of a letter that a U-M alumnus, Capt. William Wirt Wheeler of the 6th Michigan Volunteers, wrote to his former professor of Greek, James Robinson Boise, on 29 September 1862. While in a camp near New Orleans, Wheeler wrote that he “was able to save from the flames of a gentleman’s library a copy of the Odyssea and another of the Iliad” and that he was sending these two volumes to Professor Boise as a “very small tribute of respectful remembrance from a former pupil who had need of all your indulgence blundering through his Greek at college.” The books in question are seventeenth-century editions of each of the poems, currently held at the Special Collections Library. Capt. Wheeler's letter was found inside the copy of the Iliad. 

Letter by Capt. William Wirt Wheeler to his former professor of Greek

Alexander Pope

The Scholarly and the Burlesque