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[25] field, the capital of Illinois, Grant was asked by the Governor of the State to give some help in the military office, where his old army experience enabled him to be of great use. But on the 24th of May he wrote to the Adjutant-General of the Army, saying that, “having been fifteen years in the regular army, including four at West Point, and feeling it the duty of every one who has been educated at the Government expense to offer their services for the support of the Government,” he wished to tender his services until the close of the war, “in such capacity as may be offered.” He got no answer. He then thought of getting appointed on the staff of General McClellan, whom he had known at West Point, and went to seek the General at Cincinnati. He called twice, but failed to see him. While he was at Cincinnati, however, the President issued his second call for troops, this time for 300,000 men; and the Governor of Illinois, mindful of Grant's recent help, appointed him colonel of the 21st Illinois regiment of infantry. In a month he had brought his regiment into a good state of drill and discipline, and was then ordered to a point on a railroad in Missouri, where an Illinois regiment was surrounded by “rebels.” His own account of his first experience as a Commander is very characteristic of him:

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