I have done so, & come to the conclusion that if I do not participate in this war it will be a source of the deepest regret & disappointment through life. Like a bird of evil omen it will follow me & mar all my undertakings.
You said that you would not except in case of the direst necessity consent to have my course interrupted. I heartily agree with you in this. I believe I know the value of an education, how inestimable it is. Oftentimes I have heard you deplore the incompleteness of your own. But the time has now come when even this may be neglected. I ask you earnestly, what direr necessity can there be than the present, unless the very burnings of our own homes. . . . It is true hundreds of my age have fallen victims to disease & death while yet upon the threshold of the service. But why should not I die as well as they? Shall I sit ignobly here & suffer them to fight my battles & endure all for me? Never.