William C. Holbrook to Frederick Holbrook

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Carrolton, La.Nov. 5. 1862.My Dear Father:

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I have delayed writing you for some time, as we have been holding a Court of Inquiry, organised by Genl. Butler, and I wished to know the result of that before writing. Genl. Butler seems to delay giving his opinion on the matter. He no doubt was considerably surprised at the testimony of all the witnesses and is at a great loss how to account for such unanimity. The evidence of all the officers not belonging to this Regiment was very favorable to us, and no one pretended to intimate that we did not behave well. Nothing but the blackest malice can actuate Genl. Butler to give us anything less than an acquital. Still I am not inclined to the sanguine of the result until he actually gives us our long withheld merit. I can see now that it was only a malignant desire to crush us. If he does not give us justice, I suppose I shall be severely criticised forever accepting of a Court of Inquiry called by him. As soon as I received notice that the Department at Washington had refused us a Court, I submitted the question to the

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officers of the Regiment whether I had better accept one here, or let the thing rest. It was the unanimous opinion that we had better accept of Genl. B's offer, let the consequences be what they might. If he refused to give us justice, it would should that he tried to disgrace us, to gratify some malicious feeling. I have no idea that Genl. Butler is going to retract all that he has said, but if (with the full and unmistakable testimony before the Court) he does not give us justice, in pretty full measure, I shall always wage war upon him. He told me yesterday that he should send you a copy of the proceedings of the Court. If he does, I hope you will preserve them, as they may be necessary for future proceedingsreference. Since I last wrote you we have moved into New Orleans, and are now in very comfortable quarters. As soon as we can get transportation, we expect to go to Pensacola. I am very much pleased with the change, as Pensacola is a very healthy locality, and the men greatly need an entire change. I have sent recruiting parties to Vermont, and if they succeed I predict that I shall have eventually a fine Regiment, notwithstanding Genl. B's endeavors to crush us. I sincerely trust that

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Vermont will make an earnest endeavor to keep all of her other Regiments out of Butler's claws, & that he will never have occasion to command any more of them. I also hope that this Regt. and the Batteries may some day have the pleasure of being called to a field where merit is appreciated and where as more extensive military knowledge prevails. I wish to establish recruiting stations along the Canada line. I find as far as my experience goes that the French Canadians make the best soldiers. They are more accutomed to hardships and exposures, than our Vermont men. Those [         ] grumblers of the "red flannel hash" type soon give out. They have not the stamina to stand up under the privations incident to a soldier's life. Most of that class are men that have always resided on their farms and have never before been out of sight of their own door - yards. Consequently as soon as they get as far away from home as this, living as we do in an enemies Country, where they receive but little sympathy, they wilt and die from mere shiftlessness, homesickness and mental weakness. On the other hand, the Canadians, of this Regt., are as a general thing more enduring, find the

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least fault, and have the most manhood. The majority of the men that we have lost have been old men and young boys. The old men would eat and stuff when they were, or pretended to be, so weak that they could not stand, until finally they would drop off, from laziness. I cannot close without recommending Quartermaster Morse for promotion. He is desirous of being made Brigade Commissary, and if you can assist him in any way you will be assisting a very worthy man. I will let you know as soon as the Court of Inquiry is settled.

With a great deal of love to all at home, I am, as ever,

Your affectionate sonWm. C. Holbrook