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[130] when the news arrived that a detachment of the British army had marched to Lexington and Concord. His ardent patriotism then rose superior to all other considerations. His high-minded spirit could not shrink from the duties which devolved upon him as a military commander. He ordered out his company with promptness, and directed them to proceed on the route to Concord; and, having made such provision for the medical relief of the sick under his care as the time would permit, he joined his gallant corps with all possible speed. Having arrived in the vicinity of Concord, he met the British on their retreat, with the cool and determined bravery of a veteran, and made such a disposition of his men, as to secure them from injury, and enable them to annoy the enemy with destructive volleys as they passed a narrow defile. He then hung on their rear and flanks, in conjunction with other troops, until they arrived at Charlestown. The military talents and calm courage which he displayed on this occasion were remarkable in a young man only twenty-three years of age, who had never seen a battle. It was noticed by those who had the direction of public affairs, and he soon after received the commission of a major in the Continental army.

He now entered on the duties of a soldier with ardor, and devoted all the powers of his mind to the cause of his country, and the profession of arms. He carried into the service a mind pure and elevated, and ardent in the pursuit of knowledge. He had a high sense of moral rectitude, which governed all his actions. Licentiousness and debauchery were strangers to his breast; they fled from his presence, awed by his superior virtue. His gentlemanly deportment and unassuming manners secured the favor of his superiors in office, and rendered him the delight of his equals and inferiors. The following description of Agricola, by Tacitus, his inimitable biographer, is peculiarly applicable to Brooks:--

Nec Agricola licenter, more juvenum, qui militiam in lasciviam vertunt, neque segniter, ad voluptates et commeatus, titulum tribunatus et inscitiam retulit: sed noscere provinciam, nosci exercitui, discere a peritis, sequi optimos, nihil appetere jactatione, nihil ob formidinem recusare, simulque et anxius et intentus agere.”

Although he sought no enterprise through vain-glory, his active zeal and high ambition led him to solicit the post of danger, if he could thereby render useful service to his country.

When Gen. Ward had determined to fortify the heights of Charlestown, and arrangements were made for this purpose, finding that he was not included in the detachment, he solicited the general to permit him to accompany it; and his request was granted. He was active during the whole night of the 16th of June, in throwing up intrenchments, in reconnoitering the ground, and in watching the movements of the enemy. On the morning of the 17th, when it was perceived that the enemy were making preparations for an assault, he was despatched by Col. Prescott, as a confidential officer,

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