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illustration of Grand parade and review of the Union armies
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Grand parade and review of the Union armies

This 1881 rendering by James E. Taylor depicts the Grand Review of May 23-24, 1865. This victory parade would be the last time the two main armies of the Union, the Army of the Potomac and the Army of the Tennessee, would march together, as the armies disbanded and the men went home after this review. The black crepe, hung in honor of slain President Lincoln, was removed for the celebration. On May 23rd, the soldiers of the Potomac, 100,000 strong and sixty abreast, led by General Meade, marched down Pennsylvania Avenue past the reviewing stand with President Andrew Johnson and General-in-Chief Ulysses S. Grant and other dignitaries. On May 24th, the soldiers of the Tennessee and the Army of Georgia thronged the streets. Led by Generals William Tecumseh Sherman and Oliver O. Howard, the men marched for six hours with the crowds cheering and calling them "magnificent."

As James W. Vanderhoef proudly relates in his letter of May 10, 1861 (Document 23), while in Washington, his regiment, among others, was reviewed by President Lincoln and his Secretary of State, Willliam Henry Seward. To the rousing beat of a band, the troops marched proudly and with discipline past the leaders of the Union. Reviews were often held during the war as a way to bolster the regiments' morale, and as a way for generals to observe the condition of their troops.

Citation - Document 79
Photographs: Civil War: Renderings: General
April 1865
Brooklyn Public Library – Brooklyn Collection

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