William McKinley

Early Career

How did McKinley distinguish himself with heroism during the Civil War?

At the Battle of Antietam in September 1862 some of the Union soldiers were trapped and not able to cross the river with their fellow soldiers. The nineteen-year-old McKinley, serving as commissary to the unit, loaded a wagon and rode back to give food and drink to the trapped soldiers. He drove the wagon through hostile Confederate gunfire and completed his mission successfully. McKinley narrowly missed meeting his end, as his wagon was hit by Confederate cannon fire.


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