Major McKinley: William McKinley and the Civil War
After the war, as a young lawyer and congressman, he defended the rights of freedmen and continued to do so long after others had tired of the cause. He also reached out to former Confederate soldiers in an effort to help restore unity to a divided country; this initiative eventually overshadowed and diminished his advocacy of civil rights. Drawing on a wide variety of sources, including McKinley's own papers and the diaries and letters of men who served with him, this book presents a new picture of McKinley as a soldier and provides a fresh appreciation of his later life as a veteran in politics."--Jacket.
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Page 1 - 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 of affairs. I have always been glad that I entered the service as a private and served those months in that capacity.
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