Monday, May 23, 2011

The Last March

The last act of most Union Civil War Soldiers the Grand Review took place on May 23 and 24th 1865 in Washington, DC.

President Andrew Johnsons declared the fighting to be “virtually at an end” on May 10th 1865. Plans began for a review of troops that would be greater then the two celebrations of victory held just before President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. May 23rd 1865 was a clear sunny day. As a single shot fired, the Army of the Potomac marched down Pennsylvania Avenue before thousands. In front of the White House was a reviewing stand for the President Johnson, General Ulysses S Grant and other top officials. General George Gorden Meade dismounted in front of this stand to salute his men and watch his army pass. There were about 80,000 infantry lined up 12 across marching with precision.

These were joined by artillery and a seven mile long cavalry that by its self took over and hour to pass. General William Tecumseh Sherman’s Army of the Tennessee repeated this march the next day.

For most of the Union soldiers this parade was the end of their military duty. During the next few weeks the armies were disbanded.

A good web site for more information on this subject, TO THE LIMITS OF THE SOUL'S IDEAL: THE GRAND REVIEW, MAY 23, 1865

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