W. C. Holbrook to John Wolcott Phelps
A long time since I received your letters, and although I have made several tempts to answer them, I have always failed. My time since you left New Orleans has been very much occupied. Courts of Inquiry and Courts Martial in addition to any other duties have kept me pretty busy.
The proceedings of the Court of Inquiry convened by Gen. Butler to investigate the part taken by the 7th Vermont Regt. in the battle of Baton Rouge, you doubtless have seen.
The revision and for comments by Gen. B- are somewhat unfair, but they are characteristic of the man. On the other hand the finding or opinion of the Court, and the proceedings are, I consider very favorable to the Regt.
I have written to Father to have the proceedings published in a pamphlet form. That the officers may each have a copy.
I am conscious that we received but a small part of our just due, but I feel that I done the best I could under the circumstances, It was a very unequal contest. An old and professional politician pitted against a mere fledgling
You suggested that I should have preferred charges
against Gen. Butler. I thought the matter over very seriously and I should have done so had I felt sure of gaining decisive results. With the experience, knowledge and "wire pulling" disposition of an expert politician, I might have brought aboutout important and advantageous features.
I fully realized my delicate and responsible position, and felt that it should have been managed by more skillful and older heads, but it devolved on one alone to extricate the Regt. and the reputation of the State. I done the best I could under the circumstances.
The Regt. is improve-
ing fast in morale and efficiency. The health of the men is also improving
We live here very quietly, there is but little going on to relieve the monotany of garrison duty.
There seems to be a good deal of marching and counter marching in the vicinity of Baton Rouge. Port Hudson and Berwicks Bay, but what it means I am at a loss to know.
Capt. Hitchcock is well.
I am Sir,
With much respect
Your Obt. Servt.W. C. Holbrook