But across the street a friend and her daughter did; and the boy exclaimed, “Why, you must be sorry I am going.
They didn't cry at our house.”
At that house, however, during a period of the Mexican War
when the absent son could not write home, the mother's hair grew grey.
Local opinion of Congressman Hamer
's choice was not flattering.
“I am astonished that he did not appoint some one with intellect enough to be a credit to the district,” said a neighbour to the cadet's father; and no special achievement during those four years of study contradicts this view.
The boy graduated twenty-first in a class of thirty-nine, good in mathematics and excellent in horsemanship.
But — and here again is the dimly felt moral fibre — he was often umpire in disputes; and he was greatly liked by his friends, who called him Uncle Sam. “Indeed, he was a very uncle-like sort of a youth,” writes