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184 James King’s retreat from the South ended in Cincinnati,where he sought out his old comrade, Ephraim Hall. Hall was engaged in courtroom stenography and in teaching phonography—a phonetic system of shorthand. With the Kings’Southernadventureprovenafool’serrand,Jamesattheageof twenty-five again found himself seeking a means of making a living,and he hoped to leverage his blossoming talent for shorthand. Hall introduced James to Andrew J. Graham, whose brother Arthur had served in the 11th Michigan.Andrew was the author of Graham’s Handbook of Standard Phonography, a book James had purchased with Hall’s encouragement during the siege of Chattanooga. James now accompanied Graham to the district court and watched in amazement as the phonography master transcribed the judge’s words flawlessly and with the greatest of ease. The mastery of shorthand required years of hard work. James at this time could write about eighty words per minute—a potentially market­ able skill that did him credit—but a handful of stenographers nationwide could sustain triple that speed. Hall and Graham inspired James to continue devoting his every spare moment to shorthand studies.1 James was humbled by his financial situation and urgently needed to secure anincome.Beforetheendof Januaryhelandedaclerkshipintheofficeof Michigan ’s auditor general, William Humphrey, and moved to Lansing. Jenny and daughter May initially remained in Fabius.“I pray to the good one who watches over us,” James wrote,“to hasten the day that will end our separation. Jenny I C h a p t e r 8 The Battle of Life January 1868–October 1903 R During the dark days of the rebellion, none done their duty better I trust, and to cap the climax, I have the best wife that ever [a] mortal was blessed with. The Battle of Life · 185 love you more than any man ever loved a woman,and I can hardly live without you.” The clerkship, paying fifty dollars per month, was a stopgap solution to the Kings’ money woes. James bided his time, keeping one eye on movements afoot in the state legislature to appoint stenographers to the courtrooms. “I suppose I can have a position here as long as the Republicans keep in power if I want it,” he explained to Jenny,“but the wages are not enough.”2 Additional funds trickled in from James’s military service.He was awarded an invalid pension of six dollars per month for disability caused by his war wounds,and he finally received a long-awaited cash bounty for his service with the 11th Michigan. The ex-soldier visited his family whenever time and money allowed.HisletterswerebrimmingwithcommentsabouthowhemissedJenny and May.By mid-April 1868 he was boarding at the home of Theodosia Branch in Lansing, and within one month of that, he took up phonography tutoring on the side. In early June he asked Jenny to forward his army discharge papers so he could proceed with initiation into the new and rapidly growing veteran’s organization, the Grand Army of the Republic. James would ultimately rise to the GAR rank of adjutant general.3 He soon secured lodging sufficient for the whole family and was reunited with Jenny and May, who joined him in Lansing. Jenny read scores of books aloud to her husband to provide him with phonography practice. In January 1869 Jenny was midway through another pregnancy, and she again removed to Fabius, taking May with her.“Lonesomeness gnaws on me like a dog on a bone,”James remarked soon after,but he kept busy.He tutored two phonography students and continued his own shorthand studies.He took stenographic proceedings notes for his GAR post and managed their bookkeeping, all in addition to his day job. In the weeks leading up to Memorial Day he penned an article,“Honor our Fallen Heroes,” for the Lansing Republican newspaper. When the holiday came,the GAR post organized the strewing of flowers over the graves of war veterans, a project near and dear to James’s heart.4 He also assisted that year in the publication of the Manual of the Grand Army of the Republic, Containing its Principles and Objects Together with Memorial Day in the Department of Michigan, May, 1869, List of Officers, Etc., edited and compiled by Senator Isaac Cravath.James was listed in the front matter as the sole point of contact for all orders and correspondence. In the meantime,an old friend returned and helped stave off James’s feelings of solitude. A letter arrived in April from...


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