Missouri, although a slave state and considered by many to be part of the South, declined to join the Confederacy and remained loyal to the Union. When the war began, Clemens and his friends formed a Confederate militia (an experience he depicted in his 1885 short story, "The Private History of a Campaign That Failed"), but he saw no military action and the militia disbanded after two weeks. His friends joined the Confederate Army; Clemens joined his brother, Orion, who had been appointed secretary to the territorial governor of Nevada, and headed west. They traveled for more than two weeks on a stagecoach across the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains to the silver-mining town of Virginia City, Nevada. On the way, they visited the Mormon community in Salt Lake City. Clemens' experiences in the West contributed significantly to his formation as a writer, and became the basis of his second book, Roughing It.