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called for three-years volunteers and a large addition to the regular army and the navy.

Several regiments had been organized in Ohio for three months' service. The United States called for thirteen regiments from the State in April, and the same day a law was passed authorizing the expense of ten regiments beyond the required number, and providing $500,000 to support them. A few days later two regiments were organized at Columbus and sent forward, without uniforms or arms, to Washington. Under the three months' call, the State had furnished 22,000 infantry; 180 cavalry, and 200 artillery


We can well imagine that the evening readings at the McKinley fireside in those exciting days were well attended. As we have said, William had finished his term of teaching at the little school near Poland, and was at that time earning a little money as clerk in a store, and preparing to reenter the college at Meadville. Those were exciting times, and sad ones, too, for the mothers, and sisters, and sweethearts of the boys of Poland. Shortly after the President's call for three-years volunteers the young men of Poland gathered at the old Sparrow house in that place, all of them raw and undisciplined youths who had never shouldered. a musket, but who were enthusiastic and determined in the defense of the country. Two of these, at least, were William McKinley and his cousin, William M. Osborne, now of Boston. Osborne, who was about William's age, was living with the McKinleys at that time and attending the Poland Union Seminary. Patriotic speeches were made, and opportunities for enlistment offered.

On a sunny day in the latter part of May, when the roll

ing fields of Ohio were clad with fresh verdure, and the crops of the industrious farmers were promising a rich harvest, a company which was known as the Poland Guards was formed at the old Sparrow house, a captain and a first lieutenant were elected, and it marched down the old street accompanied by nearly all the inhabitants of the little place, cheering the martial spirit of the boys, and still sad over the serious work before them. The company marched on to Youngstown that day accompanied by half the men, women, and children of Poland, including McKinley and Osborne, but they had not enlisted.

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William was only a slender boy of eighteen, who had always been, as we have said, studious and too negligent perhaps of exercise, and Osborne was about the same age, and scarcely as strong. Father McKinley, Free Soiler and Unionist as he was, and Mother McKinley, who clung to her children as a mother will, still feared to allow the young men to march away towards an unknown fate, even in the defense of their country. But McKinley and Osborne could not resist the spell. They marched all the way to Youngstown with the recruits, saw the gathering of troops from other places, and watched the preparations for war. Very reluctantly they turned homeward that night.

After McKinley had walked on in silence for some distance, he said to Osborne:

"Bill, we can't stay out of this war; we must go in." Osborne suggested that they could not get the consent of his parents.

"We must get their consent," replied McKinley.

That night, as the story in the family goes, William pleaded their cause at the McKinley family circle.


doubtless pleaded it with eloquence and persuasiveness, for the parents consented, and the next day McKinley and Osborne hurried to Youngstown and joined the boys. From Youngstown they went to Columbus, and there with others from various parts of the State formed the Twenty-third Ohio Volunteers. McKinley enlisted as a private in Com

pany E.

Speaking one day to a friend of his in the governor's office at Columbus concerning his enlistment, Governor McKinley leaned back in his chair with a smile of pleasant retrospection on his face, and said, "I always look back with pleasure upon those fourteen months in which I served in the ranks. They taught me a great deal. I was but a school-boy when I went into the army, and that first year was a formative period in my life, during which I learned much of men and facts. I have always been glad that I entered the service as a private, and served those months in that capacity."

The musket which was provided for Private McKinley was one of the old-fashioned sort, which had to be provided in the early days of the war when volunteers came forward faster than suitable arms could be obtained. Some of these old muskets had been transformed from flint-locks. They carried a round ball, and it took a strong man to fire them and a keen eye or a lucky chance to hit anything. But McKinley was proud of that musket. It was better than some that were provided for the Twenty-third Ohio, and he made good use of it when he had a chance, which was not very slow in coming. He carried it not only during the whole period that he served as a private in the ranks, but when he was promoted and given a sword, he still kept it.

He took it about with him, through the whole war, until he was mustered out, and took it back to his home in Ohio. To-day it hangs in a place of honor in the house of one of his old friends in Canton, Mr. W. K. Miller, who prizes it as one of the most valuable of his possessions. At the solicitation of the writer he kindly consented to have it photographed, provided he could carry it to the photographer himself, watch the process, and carry it back to be hung in its place of honor.

A few years ago, when Governor McKinley pronounced a eulogy on the life and services of Rutherford B. Hayes, he spoke of the manner in which the muskets were received by the boys of the regiment as illustrating a feature of Hayes's character. The first headquarters of the regiment were at Camp Chase, and it was there that McKinley had his first meeting with Hayes, and it happened when they came to receive their muskets with all the pride of new recruits.

"The State," said McKinley, "could furnish only the most inferior guns, and these we positively and proudly refused to accept. We would accept nothing but the best. The officers spent most of the day in trying to persuade us to receive the guns for a few weeks, if only for the purpose of drill. None of us knew how to use any kind of a musket at that time, but we thought we knew our rights. and were all conscious of our importance. They assured us that more modern guns would soon be supplied. Major Hayes did the talking to our company, and I shall never forget the impression of his speech. He said that many of the most decisive battles in history had been won with the rudest weapons. At Lexington, Bunker Hill, and many






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