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171

MARCHING HOME AND INTO HISTORY,

diplomats and officers turn to one another and remark that there are no soldiers in the world that could surpass these Americans veterans.

President Johnson has frequently acknowledged the salutes of the brigade commanders as they rode by, but General Grant has sat imperturbable,-now and then making a commendatory remark as some exceptionally brave officer or distinguished regiment passed. Along the line of march, however, the brave veterans have been received with flowers, flutter of handkerchiefs, clapping of hands, and plaudits of the spectators.

The prettiest feature of the day was a band of some two thousand of the teachers, scholars, and trustees of the public schools of Washington, who were stationed on the north side of the Capitol, the girls gayly bedecked with ribbons of different colors, the boys with rosettes of similar hue upon their breasts, and all bearing flags, banners, and mottoes suitable to the occasion. As the hosts descended Capitol Hill, two thousand childish voices took up the strains of the “ Battle. Cry of Freedom," and sang it through in honor of the victors.

The next day the Division of the Mississippi passed in review before the same august assemblage. More interest, if possible, was taken in this pageant than in that of the day before, partly because the Armies of Georgia and Tennessee were new to the people of Washington, and also because their career showed more of romantic incident and chivalric daring. By seven o'clock spectators begin to seek for good positions; there are more present than on the preceding day.

It is a little past nine as General Sherman, leading the advance, appears around the corner by Fifteenth Street, attended by his staff. Resounding cheers greet the hero of that grand march to the sea, who has added a new chapter to military history. Men wave their hats, ladies flutter delicate handkerchiefs and rain flowers on the favorite.

He advances with “the light of battle in his eyes,” salutes his reviewing officer, and, dismounting beyond, joins the group in the pavilion. Meantime the serried ranks are sweeping by. The order of march is by close columns of companies, all colors unfurled, the brigade bands playing as on the march, the battalion colors to salute the reviewing officer by drooping, the field music by making three ruffles in passing without interrupting the march. Their general gazes proudly on them and with good cause.

These are the men who have counted their milestones by thousands, who began their career by marching from the Ohio to the Tennessee under Buell, who made that gallant raid into Alabama under the daring Mitchell, who checked the Confederate advance at Stone River under Rosencrans, who carried the passes of the Cumberland to seize Chattanooga, who stood like a rock under Thomas at Chickamauga, who stormed Missionary Ridge under Sherman, and fought above the clouds of Lookout Mountain under Hooker, who marched from Chattanooga to Atlanta, and from Atlanta to the sea, and who, under Sherman and Mc Pherson, Slocum, Howard, and Kilpatrick, swept like a tornado through Georgia and the Carolinas, and struck the death-blow to the rebellion.

Spectators note the splendid physique, the sturdy, swinging step of the men. There are but few East. ern regiments. These ranks have been filled chiefly from the yeomanry of the prairies, from the dwellers by the Great Lakes, and the pioneers of the Far West.

First comes the Army of the Tennessee led by General John A. Logan, black-haired, dark-skinned, riding a superb, dapple-gray stallion, and who is greeted with repeated plaudits. Following him marches the Seventeenth Corps, General Frank P. Blair, then the Fifteenth Corps led by Hazen, hero of Fort McAllister. At the head of each brigade is a battalion of black pioneers clad in the old plantation garments, with axe and shovel on shoulder, marching with even, sturdy step and superior air, for Sherman has declared that the parade shall be an exact picture of his army on the march. In the Twentieth Corps under General Mower, the First Division, under the veteran General Williams, has the advance. Army men speak of the latter as having seen more battles than years, and tell over the list of his engagements--with Shields in the Valley, with Banks at Front Royal, with Slocum at Antietam, with Hooker at Chancellorsville, with Meade at Gettysburg, and with Hooker again at Lookout Mountain, Resaca, and Peach Tree Creek.

Another crack division, General John W. Geary's “White Star," marches by, and then everybody is on the qui vive, for here, following General Barnum's brigade of New York troops, swings into view the first army pack-mule train ever seen in Washington. First come two diminutive white donkeys, ridden by two small contrabands. Then a dozen patient pack-mules fitted with Mexican packsaddles, laden with boxes of hard tack on one side and with camp equipage on the other. As many stolid male contrabands lead the mules, and they are followed by colored females on foot, and by a white soldier on horseback to see that all goes well. The mess and the mess-kit are borne by this cavalcade, and reclining contentedly on the mule's panniers we see a half-dozen game-cocks, a sure-footed goat, and a pair of young coons-a grotesque spectacle truly, one that provokes cheers and laughter from ten thousand throats.

But again the bayonets glisten, colors gleam, and bugles blare. The Fifteenth Corps, forming the rearguard, is passing now, famous for marching and fighting, once commanded by General George H. Thomas, and to-day partaking not a little of the qualities of the Rock of Chickamauga. Now the last battalion dips its colors, the last rank passes and recedes from view. The Army of the Potomac and the Division of the Mississippi have passed by and into history.

Another picture forces itself upon us. Far south, in companies, in squads, singly, maimed, hungry, footsore, penniless, despairing, the fragments of the brave armies that have withstood these puissant hosts

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