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[305] his will, he was compelled to yield to the command of his medical advisers and give up college life for several months, and when he came back to study with the aid of a reader.

Interested in everything relating to physical development, Henry Ropes from the first football match to the last boat-race was ever prominent. As a man of great strength and uncommon powers of endurance, he was known to all the College; while his position as president of one of the earliest boat-clubs and as member of the victorious University crew gave him especial influence. His college life was eminently happy. From the first a great favorite, his personal popularity never declined. His high sense of honor, straightforward honesty and integrity of character, and sound common-sense, secured him the confidence and respect of his classmates; while his genial temper, his hearty frankness, his kind and loving nature, won their esteem and affection. He pursued the regular course of study with his Class through the Sophomore, the Junior, and part of the Senior years, his life being only disturbed by the war of the Rebellion, which had now begun to absorb the attention of the students, and which gave rise to the warmest debates between the representatives of the different sections of the country. In all these controversies Henry felt a deep interest, and took a manly and consistent stand against the advocates of secession.

His impatience to be with the army in the field became more and more marked. His attention was directed almost exclusively to the study of military tactics and drilling, and during the summer of 1861 he obtained an appointment as Second Lieutenant in the Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteers, then organizing under Colonel William Raymond Lee. His parents were unwilling that he should give up his course in College, and, yielding to their wishes, he declined the proffered commission. But when the news of the unfortunate disaster at Ball's Bluff reached the North, in October, 1861, he again determined to enter the service, and now obtaining the approval of his parents, he accepted the offer, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteers on the

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