President McKinley was the 25th President of the United States. He was born in Niles, Ohio, on January 29, 1843. Two months after the Civil War began in 1861, President McKinley enlisted in Company E, of the Twenty-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry at the age of 18. Before his first year of service had ended, young McKinley was promoted to Commissary Sergeant. On September 17, 1862, at the battle of Antietam – the bloodiest day of the Civil War, in fact the bloodiest day in American military history – Sergeant McKinley was just to the rear of the battlefield watching over the brigade’s food and supplies. The men had eaten only a scanty breakfast, and he knew that as the day wore on the buckeyes were growing weaker. After gathering up a hand full of stragglers, he courageously led two mule teams with wagons of rations and hot coffee into the thick of the battle. Working his way over rough ground, through a hailstorm of artillery and rifle fire, he ignored repeated warnings to retreat – and continued on. He lost one team of mules to confederate gunners, but did not return to the rear of the brigade until his fellow Soldiers had been properly fed under the most adverse conditions. He earned that day the undying gratitude and respect of his comrades. Afterward, the Commander stated, “from Sergeant McKinley’s hand, every man in the regiment was served with hot coffee and warm meats, a thing which had never occurred under similar circumstances in any other Army in the world.”
US Army Quartermaster Corps
The Quartermaster Hall of Fame award is the highest form of recognition the Corps offers. This much coveted award honors individuals who are judged to have made the most significant contributions to the overall history and traditions of the Quartermaster Corps.