By 1865, the Civil War was winding down and Kelly, who would turn 16 in July, could resist the lure of battle no longer. Kelly,now the eldest of four surviving children; Luther Sage (1849), William Dunham (1852), Anna Jeannette (1855) and Albert Frederick (1857); received his mother’s reluctant permission and approval by a local board to join the army. His first attempt to enlist was denied due to his age. We can imagine him explaining that, while he was officially too young to enlist, he had his mother’s permission. Not dissuaded, he was successful on his second attempt. Kelly does not admit it directly, but implies that having been foiled by honesty the first time, it would not foil him on the second. At 15, Kelly was now in the army.