E. V. N. Hitchcock to John Wolcott Phelps
A short time ago I wrote you hastily sketching the later moves and condition of
our regiment. Since then I have learned of your nomination as Major General. You
can hardly be surprised when I tell you that such news gives intense
satisfaction here. I have heard it said that the later papers say the nomination
was confirmed but have not seen them myself. I do not intend this as a letter of
congratulation for I know well that you have not
accepted the position for advantage to yourself, and I trust that this time you
may be allowed to show the world what your real motives are. The policy which a
year ago they called insanity they are now
beginning to see was the true remedy, and with more justice than I hardly ventured to hope, they have called upon you now. When I think of the ill health which you felt last summer and of the immense labor which you are about to take upon yourself. I feer you may suffer, but hope God will give you health and strength we only for your duties but to enjoy their fruits, the [find] fruits at least.
The latest N.Y dates I have seen are Feb. 24th or 25th. The Missisippi from New Orleans for New York left a mail here for us Thursday evening (12th). All our mails come from New Orleans. Many thanks for your favor, the Brattleboro paper. I think was your writing upon the [wrapper]. Col. Holbrook received a letter from his brother which spoke confidently of your appointment.
We receive many different accounts of a new conscript act. I think the old regiments should be filled up before organizing near.
We are beginning to feel the approach of summer. Welcome indeed was the news that large quantities of ice would be furnished to this Department this summer. You remember, Sir those steaming days of last summer, how much our comfort, life almost, depended upon the ice.
I fear to speak of a hope I've felt, lest you think this letter mercenary, but
the same motives which prompted that hope make it impossible for one to write to
your without speaking of it. In my last I told you some feelings I had about my
position. I would not have you think that I find nothing pleasant is
encouraging, or success. Comparatively my command is in a very satisfactory
condition. But added to those things which I described, the prospect and fact of
inactivity in not very satisfactory to an officer who
is and has constantly been in such full health as I. I spoke of a regular
appointment and solicited your influence but, Sir to be again upon
your staff and in a field where you will be unfettered would be better than anything else I could ask. I do not set my heart to strongly on this, for I know you will not appoint one unless you think it altogether best, and my judgement may not be the surest even for myself, but with what alacrity I would obey an order to report to you. I could surely do more than here. My Company has two good Lieutenants, seventysixty five men. The regiment with about five hundred men has a full complement of Officers.
Lieut. Dickinson has not yet arrived but I expect him every day.
Col. Holbrook is sitting here in my tent. He is quite well, would be remembered most kindly to you. He and Lt. Col. Peck mess with me, though they are at Pensacola most of the time on a Court Martial.
The health of the regiment is very good indeed.
I should be glad to be remembered through you to Governor and Mrs. Holbrook and to the misses [ ] whom I met when there with the Colonel.
I will direct this simply as before.
I remain Sir as ever
Yours with great respectE. V. N. Hitchcock
Capt 7th vt. Vols.