Frederick Holbrook to John Wolcott Phelps

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BrattleboroAug. 27. 1861.Genl. J. W. Phelps,My dear Sir:-

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Your esteemed favor under date of the 17th was duly received. It was post-marked the 18th, and received by the afternoon mail on the 20th - a remarkably quick passage.

I am grieved & surprised to learn that your Commission lingers so unaccountably. Genl. Baxter informed me that he had an interview with Prest. Lincoln on the subject of your promotion to a Brig. Genl.; also that our Senators & Representatives had an interview with the Prest. for the same purpose; that the Prest. was entirely satisfied of the propriety of such promotion, & at once nominated you to the Senate for promotion, and the Senate promptly confirmed the nomination. The news papers reported the confirmation at the time it occurred. I expect to see

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Genl. Baxter & Senator Foot, at Rutland, on Friday of this week, and shall take the liberty of saying to them they had better cause a movement at Washington towards the official completion of your promotion, which they will doubtless promtly and willingly agree with me should be done.

There is a wide-spread and very earnest feeling in Vermont that you ought to be in command of the Vermont Brigade, - two Regiments of which are now at or near the "Chain Bridge", and the two others of which are now recruiting, and the Governor hopes to send them forward in all the month of September. I am told that enough men will enlist, of their own accord, to form three Regiments; - but only two will at present be formed.

The remarkable and absolutely entire unanimity, & the depth of feeling, with which the returned or 1st Regt. speak of your good

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qualities both as a man and a soldier, have created a great interest in you among the people, and as the returned soldiers have scattered far and wide through the State, to their respective homes & localities, this feeling towards you has in that proportion become widely diffused. I do not write these things in the sense of fulsome praise, but simply in a frank, friendly spirit to inform you of the actual feeling among these hills & valleys.

Our State Election occurs by law annually on the first Tuesday in September; & of course on Tuesday of next week, this year. It is thought that our people will quite generally banish party feeling in the present crisis, and that the "Ticket" headed with my name will receive very general support. Still, a somewhat speckled and irresponsible Convention recently assembled at Montpelier and nominated another, so-called a "Union", Ticket; and how much support it may have at

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the ballot box is yet to be seen.

My second son, William, of whom I spoke in a previous letter to you, came home yesterday on a brief visit, and may possibly conclude to enlist in the Company now recruiting here for the 4th Regiment. If he should conclude to enlist, and should receive a Captains or Lieutenants Commission, would that give him any chance of being attached to you in any capacity? He is a manly good boy, and I think might prove a real comfort to you, if near your person. Though not a hasty dashing character, he is very firm and substantial & reliable, and by nature knows what he is about if he has anything to do. He has been drilling in Boston considerably for a few months past, - studying his military books the while. Still, he must of course be wanting in practical experience, & may not be fit for any place you could give him. If he must go to the war it would be a comfort to his mother & myself to have him near you, for whom we have so high regard. But I do not wish to urge him upon you, or have you feel that the slightest pressure is upon you to do what you cannot, or for any reason feel that you ought not to do. If you think that William might posibly do for you in some capacity, provided he held a commission that would reconcile the rules of the service with his attachment to your person, please write me on the subject; and yet I beg of you my, friend, not to feel the slightest delicacy in saying to me whatever you please, far far be it from me to place you knowingly in any embarrassment whatever.

Mrs H. desires me to present to you her respectful & kind regards, & best wishes for your welfare.

Sincerely your friend,F. Holbrook