Frederick Holbrook to John Wolcott Phelps

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Brattleboro, Vt.Aug. 10, 1861.Genl. J. W. PhelpsCamp ButlerNewports News, Va.My dear Sir:

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Your very polite and friendly letter of July 3d., congratulating me upon my nomination for Governor of Vermont, was duly received, and was very gratifying to myself and Mrs. H. In Vermont, a nomination of this kind by the dominant Party, is considered equivalent to an election. If elected by the people, it shall be my earnest endeavor to discharge the duties of the place faithfully & well, though I am aware that in these times there are many difficulties to be met in the performance of such duties.

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In my household, the deep and sincere interest that is felt in your welfare and success in conducting your part of this unhappy conflict for the honor & defence country & government, is very marked & pervading. Indeed, I may say with truth that such is the univeral feeling through out our town. We hear the most gratifying reports of you, from every quarter, and are all gratified at your recent promotion. The 1st. Regt. Vt. Vols., now encamped here and waiting for the proper U. S. officers to muster them out of service, are to a man long and loud in your praises; and it is exceedingly gratifying to every body here that you have succeeded so perfectly not only in making fine soldiers of these men but especially in securing their respect & affection for yourself to such a remarkable

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degree that they hardly know how to choose or find words to express the same when speaking of you. I certainly think it a most remarkable and impressive fact, and it is the subject of much comment here, & will be so throughout the State when the men scatter about to their respective homes. We had been told by the men, & had hoped and counted upon it, that you would be here in person this week, but Adj't. Stevens, who arrived last evening (Friday) informs us that you will not be here.

My second son, William, for two years past a clerk with Nourse, Mason & Co., Boston, has a great desire to engage in the service of the Country. Business is flat, & will be till the war is ended, & he feels that on every account he ought to help fight the battles of constitutional law and order. I cannot think very pleasantly of his

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going into the service as a private, though perhaps it is wrong for me to indulge such feeling. I had thought it barely possible that he might make himself useful to you, in some capacity or other. He would come to you as Aid, Secy., or assistant of any kind, if you can use him. He is 19 years of age, 6 feet in height, weighs 175 pounds, has a superior physical developement in every way, and I believe possesses a fair amount of brains. Certainly, he has fine toned feelings & sensibilities, and I cannot but think it would contribute to your comfort to have him about your person. His mother feels very deeply on the subject, since if he must go to the war she would feel that if he could be with you, he would be cared for, and improved in various substantial qualities. Excuse me for troubling you thus, & please give me an early answer as I must be on the lookout for him. Mrs. H. joins with me in kind regards.

Sincerely your friendF. Holbrook