William C. Holbrook to Frederick Holbrook
Frank F. Holbrook
Care Col Frank E. Howe
N. E. Soldiers Relief RoomsBroadwayNew YorkCity
Pensacola Fla.December 9th 1862.Dear Father
I arrived here last Friday it was quite a relief to return to my regt. The sickness in the regt. is very great. the change of
water and diet has no doubt been the chief cause, the men are improving slowly,
we have a fine healthy breeze from the salt water so much different from the
poisonous miasinia of the Louisiana swamps that it must have a salutary effect,
most of men that die those that were sick at Vicksburg and Camp Williams.
many of the cases assuming a scorbutie appearance. the
blood becomes very thin and the mineral element all gone there was nothing in the air about N. Orleans that was regenerating, it took along time to build up after a protracted spell of sickness. I am in hopes it will be different here and I have no doubt it will, the town of Pensacola has always had the reputation of being the healthiest place in the Gulf. the soil is very sandy and not very productive of anything but scrub oak and pine. the former is a thick low underbrush, consequently there is no miasmia arising from decomposing vegatables matter. the water is pure and healthy.
Pensacola harbor is one
of the finest in the United States it is very extensive and would afford ample room for the entire U. S. Navy it is well protected on all sides from the furious winds so frequent in the Gulf. the country roads are very remarkable. they remind one of the wood road of New England. they are of about the same width and wind about the thick underbrush in the most intricate manner crossed and recrossed in all directions by what I first supposed to be cow paths but have since learned they were the regular roads or turnpikes. how such bridal paths can be used as roads is beyond my comprehensive the town of P - has rather an ancient appear
ance the buildings look very much dilapidated, we are quartered weight comfortably in houses, we get potatoes at $8.00 a barrel everything else in proportion. The new doctors take hold with great vigor and are thus far liked by all. the Chaplain exceeded my most saguine expectations, devine service in held every sabbath in a church, a choir has been organized among the officer. and a naval officer plays the organ very well, services are also held at the different quarters during the week. the Chaplain has done a great deal of good in the hospitals by furnishing reading matter to the men he visits them daily. I send with this letter recommendations of individence for promotion several vacancies have occured and more are probable