Frederick Holbrook to John Wolcott Phelps
My dear Sir:-
I am indebted to you for two or three letters from Ship Island, which have been
read with great interest, & for which I am much obliged to you. I send this
by hand of Col. Stephen Thomas, Commanding the 8th Vt. Regt. I am very proud of him & his Regt., and that I can send you
such an offering. I have known Col. Thomas for many years, and can commend him
to you as being "every inch a man", - a gentleman of culture and ability, and I
fully believe you will find him a reliable & able officer. He has many
excellent officers in his Regt. Lieut. Col. Brown is a fine man everyway, &
a superior tactician. Major Dillingham is a young man of the best promise. 2n.
Mr. Smith is a superior business man and a gentleman. Adjutant Barstow is as
a model of a young gentleman of culture and ability as you or I could desire. Then there are Captains, Duncan, Grout, Childs, Forster, &c., &c., all excellent, reliable men. As for the rank & file of the 8th Vt. Regt., they are mostly youngerly men, of fine constitutions, capable of much endurance; they are brave and patriotic, and furnish as good material to make effective soldiers of as can be found in any country whatever. I know you will be proud of the Green Mountain Boys whom Col. Thomas brings to the "Department of the Gulf" to co-operate with you in any service you may have to perform.
Before leaving Newport's News you expressed a doubt in one of your letters to me
whether Vermont could raise at the present time more than one Regiment in
addition to those she had already sent into the field. But we now send you two full Infantry Regiments, and two
Artillery Companies. These have all been recruited since the middle of November,
amid the rigors of our Vermont winter season, and the Regiments could have
sent off four weeks ago, had Government been ready with funds to pay the recruiting, subsistence and other expenses of raising & organizing the Regts. You will agree with me that this speaks pretty well for the patriotism of Vermont, & her determination to defend the Government & Union against its foes.
Well, my dear General, what would I not give to take you by the hand and have one of our full & free "talks" - ranging over wide fields of discussion, and embracing all subjects from the funny to the sublime. Heaven grant that we may again meet, our country then being composed again, and a new era of peace & prosperity opened, giving greater promise to the land than any previous one. I feel that Providence is teaching us a severe, but in the end a useful lesson, and that we are yet to emerge from present gloom, purified & strengthened as a nation, in nearly every cardinal point. I could say much more, but will try now and write you often & fully.
I am, with high regard,
Your friend,Frederick Holbrook