One of my great uncles joined the Army, saying he was 28 when actually he was 34. The reasons he gave to his superior officers at the end of his career was that he was in business with partners and it failed do to the errors of one partner. And since he had no profession to fall back on, he joined the Army.
He did try to get back into business but things just didn't go his way. He invested most of his savings in city lots in Chicago then came the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and he had to sell at a loss. He had to reinlist in Army. He tried buying a plantation in Texas but the deal fell through. He again reinlisted.
He spent most of his military career on the western frontier fighting Indians. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for braverly during the Battle of Wolf Mountains in the Montana Territory, fighting the Northern Cheyenne and Sioux led by Chief Crazy Horse...1877.
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