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I cannot do better today than this post at Brits at Their Best.

Fly the flag.
Photognome has sent this link to a memoir by a latter19th/early 20th century doctor and professor. The link connects to the chapter on the Spanish-American War.

Here are the opening paragraphs:


After the sinking of the Maine in the harbor at Havana, the proclamation of war against Spain, and the call for volunteers, I was anxious to enlist; but having a wife and five children dependent upon me, I could not conscientiously do so. There was quite an outbreak of enthusiasm for enlistment among the students of the University of Michigan. President Angell was then in Constantinople as United States Ambassador to Turkey, and President Hutchins, who later became permanent President, was acting in that capacity. One day he came to me and said that the students were all astir about the war, wanted to hold a mass meeting with speeches, and might be stampeded into enlistment. He advised that the mass meeting be permitted, that representatives of the students be invited to talk, and that the older and wiser members of the Faculty pour the oil of caution upon-the troubled waters of youth. As dean of the Medical School I was asked to attend the meeting and to do my part in allaying and cooling the enthusiasm and patriotism of the students. Reluctantly I consented to do my small share in this work.

University Hall was crowded. Even the students who made speeches, for the most part at least, evidently had been selected from among those most likely to be moderate in speech. I sat on the platform and listened to talk after talk by my older and wiser colleagues. One admonished the students that their first duty was to their parents, that they should not enlist without consulting them, and that they had parents distributed from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Another said that the student's first duty was to the University, that if he enlisted he interrupted his course of study, would probably not be able to regain his place in his class, and would suffer delay in graduation. A third told the students that there were enough unemployed in this country to fill the quota called for by the President, advised waiting until the unemployed had enlisted, and if it appeared that the ranks were not filled by these, enlistment by the students might be considered. I had promised President Hutchins that I would be at least moderate in my speech and I went to the meeting fully determined that I would comply with my promise. I have long known that in speaking I labor under a serious defect, but I had no realization until that night of the extent to which this defect dominates and determines my actions. Whatever I may intend to say, when I am to make a speech, when I actually begin to talk, I always give expression to my convictions. Many a time I have gone before an audience intending by my words to palliate and to compromise, but after I begin to talk I have always been led by my convictions rather than by my intentions. At the mass meeting I was called upon to follow the colleague who had spoken of filling the ranks with the unemployed. This drove me into a mental frenzy, and standing before the audience, I said: "God pity the country whose tramps must fight its battles; it is true that you are here to acquire an education with the purpose of fitting yourself for the work of life; but I would rather see these walls crumble into dust than to see you hesitate to go when your country calls. You have duties towards your parents, but your first duty is to serve your country." Along this line I rushed on in a verbal flood until my time limit was reached.

The next afternoon Governor Pingree, in his office at Lansing, called me by telephone, informed me that he had read my speech, had signed my commission, and that I would report for duty at Camp Alger, Virginia, without delay. Some enlist because they like the soldier's life, some for patriotic reasons, but I received my commission at the outbreak of the Spanish-American War because I talked too much.