Samuel L. Clemens had done nothing of significance by age twenty-five. As a journeyman printer and pilot of a Mississippi River steamer, he had barley managed to earn enough money for bed and board. Hence it was easy for him to turn his back on civilian life and enlist in a pro-Confederate unit that was organized in his native Missouri.
It took only a few weeks for him to decide that military life was not for him. Returning to the newspaper field as a reporter, he adopted the pseudonym Mark Twain and became the most noted American writer of the century. Despite his pro-secessionist views in early manhood, it was Twain who took a fling at publishing in order to issue successfully the autobiography of Ulysses S. Grant.