Frederick Holbrook to John Wolcott Phelps
My dear General:-
Learning that mail starts for Key West & Ship Island in a day or two, I
embrace a few moments to say hurriedly that we are all delighted here in Vermont
to learn of the safe arrival at the Island of our two Regts., the 7th & 8th.
You must have hailed their advent with peculiar pleasure, as representatives of
your native & beloved State. They are composed of superior material, and
under your skillful forming hand, must make excellent & reliable Regiments.
There are no better troops in the service than Vermont has furnished. The recent
affair, of Apl. 16th, near Yorktown, Va., shown conclusively that our Vt. men
are brave & reliable. Their praises are spoken by all, since that affair,
& were freely ex-
pressed by many, long before that event.
About one hundred soldiers of the Vt. Brigade, wounded on the 16th ult., arrived, I suppose, today, at New York, on their way to their houses. I sent Adjt. Genl. Washburn & 2n. Mr. Genl. Davis to Washington, to make arrangements with the War Department for the immediate removal home of such of our troops now or hereafter wounded, or can be safely removed; and they went from thence to Fortress Monroe to get these 100 men. Govt. has been very accommodating & liberal in arranging with the State in this matter. The U. S. Marine Hospital, Burlington, Vt., has been turned over to me, for a Hospital for our wounded & Govt. authorizes me to furnish it with Hospital furniture & Med. & Hospital stores, & put a competent surgeon in charge, and present the bill. I am also authorized to establish another temporary Hospital at Brattleboro, if it should become desirable & necessary. The Marine Hospital will accommodate about 200 men.
I would like to write you quite a volume, but must close speedily, to be in season. A great many things I have to say to you, but trust & pray we may both live to a time when we can meet & range the whole wide field of topics, in friendly conversation. We hear through rebel sources, of the capture of New Orleans, & expect to hear of that of Mobile & other points within your beat, in due time.
What a world of work is before the loyal American people, in subduing the rebellion & reconstructing & arranging affairs! May we have wisdom, virtue & patriotic fire equal to the discharge of our serious & momentous duties. Do write me very soon, what you think of our two Regts., how you get on, and anything & everything else that interests you.
In very great haste, but with high regard,
Your friend,Frederick Holbrook