When a young man, he was a stage-driver among the Berkshire hills, in Massachusetts, and this is how he happened to get into the army: At a time in winter when the roads were dangerous, going down a steep hill, the stage slewed and turned over, but the horses kept on. One of the passengers pushed out the door on the upper side of the coach and climbed upon the box, and attempted to take the reins from Sumner's hands. "You let the reins alone or I'll throw you off!" said the driver, with determination. The passenger wisely abandoned his attempt at interference, and Sumner guided the team firmly till it was safe to stop them, dragging the overturned coach along, and so saved passengers and team. The passenger who attempted to take the reins was General Worth. He was so impressed with young Sumner's sterling qualities that he cultivated his acquaintance and induced him to join the army, and the cool and determined driver made an intrepid commander."
(This anecdote is probably a myth. MpG. See Early History of General Sumner.)
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