Nothing too Good for Him
King has the distinction of being the first Minnesotan to volunteer to fight in the Civil War, and therefore, likely the first person to volunteer in the country. In April 1861, when President Abraham Lincoln called for soldiers to fight the Confederate forces, Minnesota Governor Alexander Ramsey was in Washington, D.C., at the time. Ramsey immediately promised the president a reigment of 1,000 Minnesota men, and was the first U.S. governor to do so. He telegraphed a message about his promise to Lincoln back to Minnesota, and on April 15, 1861, the first Minnesotans signed up to join the Union Army. King was the first man to sign his name. He served in the First Minnesota through 1864.