Frederick Holbrook to John Wolcott Phelps

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Nov 18, 1861.My dear General:

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Your highly esteemed favor of the 31st was duly received, and has been read by quite a number of our friends in the General Assembly. We shall probably organize, this month and next, three Company's, or Battery's of Light Artillery - two of them for the Regiment we have agreed to raise for Gen. B. F. Butler's "New England Division", and one to remain in the state till required elsewhere.

Genl. Butler made me a visit last week, to complete

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the necessary measures towards the recruiting, organising, &c., of his Regiment. The State recruits the Regt. for him, & the general Government, through him, advances all needed funds for the same & for fully preparing the Regt. for active service.

Genl. Butler informs me that he has taken measures to secure your services as Brig. Genl. of his expedition, & that he hopes to accomplish his object. We all hope he will here in Vermont.

I should be highly gratified if my son William could go on your staff, wherever you may be. If you do not succeed in getting him attached to your staff within the next two or three weeks, I shall commission him as Major of our 7th Regt., now recruiting, and largely composed

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of the Vt. 1st, Regt., which you commanded at Newport News. I now think I may make Lieut. Roberts, of Rutland, Colonel of that Regt. What do you think of him for that place? Please say, immediately, by letter to me, making your testimony concerning him on a piece of paper separate from whatever else you may please to write me. He is a fine business man, has a very reliable & substantial qualities as a man, of which I am personally acquainted. But I am not a judge of his fitness to command a Regt of soldiers.

I was greatly grieved & disappointed that the Legislature should fail to elect Genl. Baxter as Adjutant Genl. for the coming year. No man in Vermont can fill the place so well. Col. Washburn

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is his successor, and is the next best man we have for the place. I hope he & I may be able to draw together harmoneously, & presume we shall; but Genl. Baxter was my particular friend, with whom I had been familiar from boyhood.

I send herewith a small effusion of mine, on the subject of Thanksgiving. How I wish I could have you at my dinner table on that day! I would ransack the country for delicacies of the table; but the flow of soul, that would be the crowning of all.

With high regard,
Your friend,Fredk. Holbrook