Drum-Taps was written during the Civil War, "put together," as Whitman wrote to a friend, "by fits and starts, on the field, in hospitals as I worked with the soldier boys." As soon as the war ended in 1865, Whitman published the book, which includes some of his tenderest and most haunting poems, along with the great elegy for Lincoln, "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd." All the more extraordinary then that the book as Whitman originally conceived it has not been reprinted in the 150 years since it first came out. Whitman himself decided to break up the sequence when he incorporated the poems into the larger fabric of Leaves of Grass , and in doing so the more personal, urgent, and immediate-diaristic, reportorial, outraged, grief-stricken-character of the original text was obscured. Lawrence Kramer's new, annotated, edition of the first edition of Drum-Taps re-introduces readers to one of Whitman's greatest achievements, a profoundly moving work of witness, courage, and lament.