‘he thought he could serve his country better in that capacity than in any other.’ He was mustered in on the 21St of August, 1861, and left Augusta with the regiment for Baltimore, August 23. The following extract from a letter written in Virginia, November 9, 1861, illustrates the spirit in which he devoted himself to the service of his country, and at the same time shows the strength of his attachment to his family.
In a few days we expect to be marched out to battle. . . . . I can hardly tell whether I feel much anxiety about myself, but I do think much, very much, of the friends behind me. One thing is certain, sister, there is a God here as at home, and he will not fail to take care of any one who does his duty. Mine is to be here. God help me to do my duty like a man.At Baltimore, where the regiment remained about a month, he ‘worked with the engineers’ in building a fort on Murray Hill; and this seems to have suggested an application which he made unsuccessfully for a discharge from his regiment in order to enter the engineer service. He had, perhaps, already discovered that it was not as a private soldier that he could best serve his country. The regiment was soon after brigaded, and Mr. Hinds was provided with employment better suited to his capacity,—being detailed as clerk to the brigade commissary. His duties in this position, which included the charge of the brigade hospitals, exempted him from much of the hardship and peril of a soldier's life, while at the same time they debarred him from active participation in the brave deeds for which the Seventh Maine soon became honorably known. His services were none the less important, and he brought to their performance the same conscientious fidelity which distinguished all that he did. After spending the winter of 1861-62 in camp, near Lewinsville, Virginia, the regiment went through the Peninsular Campaign and took part in most of its battles, greatly distinguishing itself on several occasions. Mr. Hinds was the occasional chronicler of its fame in the columns of the Aroostook Pioneer, whose editor was his neighbor and friend at home,