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John Wolcott Phelps Correspondence

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John Wolcott Phelps was born in Guilford, Vermont and graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1836. On May 2, 1861, Phelps was appointed Colonel of the 1st Vermont Infantry and was mustered into U.S. service on May 8. He was promoted to brigadier general on May 27, 1861. General Phelps was stationed at Camp Parapet in Carrollton, seven miles from New Orleans. Many fugitive slaves arrived at the camp seeking refuge. Phelps sought to create three regiments of black soldiers, but his commanding officer, General Butler, ordered that they be made laborers. Unwilling to employ the Africans as mere laborers, General Phelps offered his resignation on August 21, 1862. General Butler refused to accept it. Later that August, General Phelps returned his commission to President Abraham Lincoln. Phelps went on to become the candidate for the American Party/Anti-Masonic Party for president in 1880.

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Time Period Covered: May 1, 1861 - April 18, 1863 

Parent Collections

Vermonters in the Civil War

Published:  March 04, 2011,  University of Vermont, Bailey/Howe Library, Center for Digital Initiatives

Rights:  Requests to reproduce this item should be sent to the UVM Libraries' Center for Digital Initiatives at cdi@uvm.edu. For more information, see http://cdi.uvm.edu/about/rights. More information.


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