He was at Rome during the Carnival; in Paris, at Easter. He landed at Boston in July, 1860, and a few days afterwards entered Harvard College without conditions. Few allusions to public affairs, occur in his letters from Cambridge during the first term. Two days after the attack on Fort Sumter, he wrote, ‘If the South is in earnest, I shall be in the fight.’ But he was ill,—‘tired of being sick every spring with a cold.’ His letters to his mother are now devoted by almost alternate sentences to his health and the war.
‘A very little study affects my head. Boston is splendidly excited. What a horrible war,—fathers against sons, brothers against brothers! Yet the grass in the College yard is green and the buds are coming out.’He was quite feeble during the most of the summer, but in August grew rapidly stronger. On the 17th of August, at the house of his uncle, Gerritt Smith, in Peterborough, New York, he received a letter from his brother David, who said, ‘I am now Colonel of the regiment called “Birney's Zouaves.” If you can get your mother's permission, you ’