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Mark Hanna gradually stepped into his father's place. He was the eldest son, and the one on whom the responsibility naturally fell. He represented the interests of his mother and brothers in the business, and practically became a partner. In fact, even before his father's death the firm was reorganized, and Mark Hanna entered it. A difference of opinion had arisen between Robert Hanna and Hiram Garretson about the conduct of the business. Garretson wanted to add to the trade of the firm a liquor department, because it was in liquor that the largest profits were to be made. Robert and Leonard Hanna refused on account of their temperance convictions. Late in 1862, as a result of this disagreement, Hiram Garretson withdrew from the firm; and on December 1 of that year the following notice was published in the Cleveland Herald:
Cleveland Herald, Dec. 1, 1862.
R. Hanna, L. Hanna, S. H. Baird, M. A. Hanna,
Robert Hanna & Co.
(Successors to Hanna, Garretson & Co.),
Wholesale Grocers, Forwarding and
and Dealers in
Produce, Fish, Salt, etc., etc.
Nos. 169 and 171 River St., and Dock,
Cleveland, Detroit and Lake Superior
Line of Steamers.
Notice. M. B. Clark and John D. Rockefeller, late of Clark, Gardner & Co., will continue the Produce Commission business under style and firm of Clark & Rockefeller, at warehouse recently occupied by Clark, Gardner & Co., Nos. 39, 41, 43 & 45 River Street.
This notice was published two weeks before the death of Dr. Leonard Hanna, so that Mark Hanna was soon the only representative of his immediate family in the partnership. Somewhat later his brother, Howard Melville, bought out the interest of S. H. Baird. Dr. Hanna bequeathed little to his family except his share of the business, and that, of course, went to his widow for the support of the home and the younger children. The boys received practically nothing from their father's estate.
The situation of the family before and after his brother's death determined Mark Hanna's behavior in respect to enlisting for the war. As a courageous, patriotic and combative young man, whose friends were going to the front, Mark would have inevitably enlisted, but he was prevented by his duty to his family. Some one had to remain in Cleveland, so as to manage his mother's interest in the grocery business. The choice lay between Mark and his younger brother, Howard Melville. They talked it over, and agreed that Mark's longer experience in the business designated him for service at home. His brother enlisted in the navy and served with honor and distinction.
At a later date Mark Hanna did serve for a short time, and he himself has given a brief account of the incident. Speaking at the camp-fire of the Grand Army of the Republic on the night of Sept. 12, 1901 (while President McKinley's life still hung in the balance), he said: "This is my first visit to a camp-fire. As you all know, I have been one of you but a short while. To the question why I did not exercise my right to be enrolled, I will say that I never supposed I was entitled to stand with the men who were veterans of four years' terrible war. I am but a four months' man. In 1861 I might have enlisted, but circumstances prevented me. My father was on a sick bed. I did the best I could. I sent a substitute. Four years later I had the honor to be drafted. We did have a brush with General Early, but that was all. For that reason I did not think I was entitled to become one of your comrades."
This account of his service is rather an under- than an overstatement of his participation in the war. He had joined a company of militia known as the Perry Light Infantry, which later became a company in the 29th regiment of the Ohio National Guard. In the spring of 1864, when the government was straining every resource to deal to the Confederacy a crushing blow, the 29th regiment of the National Guard together with a company of farmers from Dover in Cuyahoga County and a company of students from Oberlin College were mustered into the Federal service as the 150th regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry. The date of their entry into the service was May 5, and one week later it took train from Cleveland for Washington.
The Perry Light Infantry, composed mostly of young Cleveland business men, became Company C in the new volunteer regiment. It had been commanded by Capt. W. H. Hayward, who was elected colonel of the new organization. This left Company C without a captain. The first lieutenant of the Light Infantry was made captain of Company C; and when a further election was held to fill the position of first lieutenant, E. B. Thomas, who was serving as first sergeant, received a majority of the votes, although Mark Hanna, who had been second lieutenant of the Light Infantry, had a prior claim on the position. After a consultation E. B. Thomas refused to muster in as first lieutenant and was never commissioned as such. Mark Hanna served through the hundred days as first lieutenant, although he was commissioned only as second lieutenant.
The regiment was sent to Washington as a substitute for the troops which had been withdrawn from the defences of the city by General Grant in order to help him in the campaign in the Wilderness. Its members were marched out of the city and assigned to garrison duty in forts Lincoln, Thayer, Saratoga, Slocum, Bunker Hill, Slemmer, Totten and Stevens. The "brush with Early" mentioned in Mr. Hanna's speech occurred on July 10 and 11. General Early was threatening Washington, and all available troops were being rushed to the fortifications for its defence. But the attack never developed into anything dangerous; and such as it was, it did not fall upon that part of the Federal line at which Lieutenant Hanna's company was stationed. It was concentrated on Fort Stevens, which was separated from Fort Bunker Hill, where Company C was quartered, by Forts Slemmer, Totten and Slocum. Company C was not under fire.
Mark Hanna himself was not even with his regiment on the day when the Confederates made their feint at the defences of Washington. He had been assigned to return to Cleveland with the dead body of a comrade, and the "brush with Early" occurred during the time occupied by his return journey. In a letter written from Baltimore, where he was detained on the journey, he expressed lively chagrin at being absent from the only military "excitement" in which his regiment was involved.
Although the regiment saw no service worth the name, it was well drilled, and in every way thoroughly prepared for the field. The emergency which had called it out soon passed, and on August 13 it was returned safely to Cleveland after a disagreeable journey in a train of cattle cars. On August 23 it was mustered out, having served for one hundred and ten days. Jay C. Morse and George W. Chapin, later to become brothersin-law of Mark Hanna, were sergeants in Company C, and Edward 0. Wolcott, subsequently Senator of the United States from Colorado, and George K. Nash, subsequently governor of Ohio, were privates in other companies. The historian of the regiment, 'Major' Gleason, refers to Lieutenant Hanna as a "jolly, auburn-haired, freckle-faced youth," while his lieutenant-colonel, John N. Frazee, supplies the following description: "Lieutenant Hanna must have been six feet or over in height, weighing from 160 to 180 pounds; complexion fair, full-faced, with side whiskers; full-chested, square-shouldered; in fact a very manly man and thoroughly conscientious in the discharge of his duties."
At the time of his service in the fortifications of Washington, Mark Hanna was not so much interested in the defence of his country as he might have been. Or rather he was interested in something else very much more. He was at that moment head over heels in love, and just before starting for the front his loveaffair had developed into a recognized engagement. To leave Cleveland at such a crisis was exasperating to a young man who had been obliged to overcome obstacles before he was accepted as suitor for the lady's hand; and during the whole of his enforced absence he was more preoccupied with the end of his service than with its duties and opportunities. As he was to be married soon after his return, he counted the days which he had still to wait, and was not happy until the orders were given for the journey back to Cleveland. His wedding did take place a few weeks after he was mustered out of the service; and we must now turn to the series of incidents which culminated in his marriage, and the no less important series of incidents which were its immediate consequences.
MARRIAGE AND ITS RESULTS
The lady to whom Mark Hanna was married in September, 1864, was Miss C. Augusta Rhodes. They had met at a* bazaar in the spring of 1862, just after Miss Rhodes had returned from a finishing school in New York City. On that occasion Mark had won the favor both of mother and daughter by helping them out of an embarrassing situation. An acquaintance followed, and the two young people promptly fell in love with each other. Mark was an eligible suitor, and there was no good reason why an engagement should not have immediately followed. But when Miss Rhodes's father was approached, he met the suitor with a peremptory and probably an explosive negative.
Mrs. Hanna gives two reasons to account for the opposition. Her father, Mr. Daniel P. Rhodes, a coal and iron merchant and one of Cleveland's most successful business men, was a vigorous and self-willed man. Behind his opposition was apparently the instinctive repugnance which certain fathers have to the marriage of their children; but of course he had what appeared to be a better reason at the end of his tongue. He did not want his daughter to marry Mark Hanna because he did not like the young man's politics — which is not such a bad reason at a time when differences of political opinion were deluging the country with blood. Daniel P. Rhodes was a strong Democrat, and unlike many of his partisan associates in the Middle West, he was more of a Democrat than he was a unionist. Stephen A. Douglas was distantly related to him, and he had taken an intense interest in Douglas's political career. The defeat of his favorite in 1860 so embittered him that he could not forgive the Republicans, who brought it about. He used to say to the young suitor, "I like you very well, Mark, but you are a damned screecher for freedom."
The order was issued that the two young people should be