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‘ [194] nothing more to do with the war than reading the news in the papers. I am very well contented that it is so, for the present; but if this is to be such a war as it now promises to be, I do not mean to do office-work forever. I suppose every one has a strong desire to hear how shot that are sent in earnest whistle.’

So, for the first eighteen months of the struggle, Hooper still remained at home, occupied with labors which had now become distasteful, and rather chafing at the restraint. At last the opportunity to go arose from the very condition of health, which his friends had considered so grave an objection to his entering the service. In the autumn of 1862 his physicians said that he must avoid the New England winter, and seek a warmer climate and a more open-air life than he could have at home. They advised him to go abroad; but he knew a better way of leaving New England than that. He at once offered himself, and was accepted, as a Volunteer Aid to General Banks, whose expedition was under orders for the South. He obtained from Governor Andrew an appointment as Assistant Adjutant-General of Massachusetts, for the purpose of getting the rank necessary to qualify him for the position he sought, and joined General Banks's staff, with the rank of Captain. The expedition sailed from New York on the 4th, and arrived at New Orleans on the 16th of December, 1862.

Captain Hooper's letters to his family are of great interest, and give a clearer and more vivid picture of the state of society and of feeling in the newly reconquered State, of the difficulties that lay in the way of reconstruction, and of the means by which General Banks was attempting to overcome them, than can easily be found elsewhere. In their personal relation, these letters, full of love for home and wife and child, are tinged with no regret that he had left them. Conscious of the great work of the hour, he is fully content at being at last engaged in it. Yet, with his characteristic modesty and tendency to disparage his own impulses, he is unwilling to claim the credit of patriotism. The fact that it was the necessity of leaving

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