On April 12, 1861, the first shots of the American Civil War were fired by the Confederates upon Fort Sumter in South Carolina. Minnesota Governor Alexander Ramsey quickly offered newly-inaugurated Abraham Lincoln support. Two days later, Josias Redgate King – a former resident of Washington D.C. and member of the St. Paul Pioneer Guard since 1857 – was the nation’s first to sign up as a Union soldier. More than 1,000 local men followed his lead, becoming the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Slightly more than 300 men returned home when the regiment was disbanded in 1864. King survived and posed for the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial in 1903. The 14 foot bronze sculpture by John Karl Daniels stands atop a 55 foot marble column at Summit Park.