Long recognized as an icon of American poetry, Whitman was against slavery but not an activist for abolition. He was 42 years old, the upper reaches of Civil War conscription age, when the war started, but his younger brother George did enlist in the Union army. When George was wounded, the poet rushed from Brooklyn to Washington D.C. to be with him. Walt Whitman’s hospital visits to his brother reflect his own wartime service, spent assisting other hospitalized soldiers in New York and Washington. Whitman expressed his high esteem for Lincoln in poems, most famously “O Captain! My Captain!” and “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d,” both written as he grieved for his assassinated president.