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[197] nominally and by rank the junior member, he performed most of the work, and the organization of which, under its new system, was principally based upon a report made by him soon after his arrival. To the ability, fidelity, and success with which he performed these duties we have the testimony of General Banks, who writes:—

Among many patriotic officers to whose labors I have been indebted, I recall with gratitude the memory of Captain William Sturgis Hooper of Massachusetts. He entered the service of the government in 1862 as a volunteer, without compensation, bearing himself all expenses attending his career. . . . . The thorough mercantile education of Captain Hooper, and his extensive commercial experience, enabled him to render important services to the government in affairs connected with the civil administration of the department. The general direction of the business of the Commission for the management of sequestrated property, of which he was a member, was intrusted, among other interests, to his care. Important questions of international as well as military law, and of the commercial customs regulating trade in the staple products of the country, were involved in these transactions. All his duties were discharged with signal ability. His courteous deportment, sound judgment, and unimpeachable integrity disarmed the opposition of interested parties, and secured for his decisions the respect of all persons.

These duties, however, debarred him from the life in the open air for which he longed, and to which he had looked forward as the means of restoring his health. Shut up in an office, surrounded by swarms of men and women, loyal and disloyal, with complaints and demands and suggestions of every description and degree of annoyance, writing and talking and thinking from morning till night, he was constantly failing in health and strength. Still he was cheerful and hopeful, always flattering himself that his cough was a little better and his other physical disorders certainly no worse.

The modesty with which, in his letters, he always disparages his own share in the work which was going on is very remarkable, when compared with the real importance of his labors and responsibilities, as shown not merely by the facts themselves

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