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The morning of the 23d dawned gloriously-all that the actors in the pageant, or the spectators could have desired. The air, tempered by the spring rains, was cool, fragrant, and free from dust. Battlescarred Washington smiled brightly in the May sunshine, and decked herself gayly to greet the victors. Bunting of all kinds floated bravely from flag-staffs, decked the fronts of buildings, hung suspended over the streets. The reviewing stand had been erected on the sidewalk in front of the White House-a long pavilion, richly decorated with flags, inscribed with the famous victories of both armies, and having on either flank long stands for the accommodation of officials, ladies, and disabled veterans. Opposite, across the street, was a second pavilion, erected for members of Congress, governors of States, and other State officials, and this was flanked as far as Seventeenth Street on the one side, and to Fifteenth and a Half Street on the other, by private stands, erected by citizens of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Ohio, and by the officers who were to take part in the parade.
As the appointed hour-nine o'еlock-approaches, the scene, whether viewed from the White House, or from the west point of the Capitol, is inspiring to a degree. Never has Washington been so packed with humanity. The newspapers have given notice of the event to the remotest hamlets, and the people have come in multitudes. Painters, poets, journalists, historians are there to give it continued fame. The lawyer has left his briefs, the artisan his bench, the farmer his plough, to greet the veterans whose trials and exploits for four years have been the theme of office, workshop, and cottage fireside; the father has brought his son, the mother her daughter, that they may be able to describe it in distant years to children's children. They have read in history of Roman “triumphs,”—how the victorious legions swept along the Appian Way with captives at their chariot wheels, while Rome applauded; of the welcome Paris gave Napoleon's victorious hosts, of the ovations London tendered to the heroes of Waterloo and the Crimea, but they feel that in spectacular display and historic interest, this will surpass all.
Massed under arms behind the Capitol and filling the camps around the city are five great corps d'armée —the Army of the Potomac, the Army of the James, the Army of Georgia, the Army of the Tennessee, and the Corps of Cavalry, under Sheridan-two hundred thousand men in all. The hour of nine peals from a score of steeples. Blare of bugle and roll of drum greet it; the column is in motion, marching down from East Capitol Square, where it has been held for orders. The Army of the Potomac has the advance. First rides its gallant commander, General George C. Meade, followed by his general staff, in brilliant uniforms, by the head-quarters escort-a squadron of the First Massachusetts Cavalry,—and by the Cavalry Corps under General Merritt.
Let us witness the pageant from the reviewing stand. A brilliant company has gathered there. President Johnson occupies the centre, with Lieutenant-General Grant seated beside him as reviewing officer. In the second line from the front are Generals Sherman, Hancock, and Torbert, Secretaries Sherman, Stanton, Welles, and other Cabinet officers, while the pavilion and the stands on either side are crowded with officers of the army and diplomatic corps in brilliant uniforms, with ladies in gay attire, with governors, senators, and civilians.
General Meade passes the stand at 9.15 A.M. and salutes. The drum corps opposite peals out a salute in reply, and the march now commences. The splendid Cavalry Corps under Merritt first passes under review. General Grant gives it a nod of approval as he recalls its record. Hooker mobilized it. Pleasanton first successfully fought it. Enough to say of it that it has been with Sheridan in the Valley. It passes in platoons of sixteen horses, each trooper with drawn sabre.
There around the corner of Fifteenth Street comes Custer heading his famous Division. A fair hand throws him a flower wreath, which he catches gallantly on his sword-arm ; but the movement alarms his spirited stallion, which rears, plunges, and dashes off at a frightful speed down the avenue. But the General is not easily thrown. Still holding the garland in one hand, he subdues the steed with the other, and after properly punishing him forces him back into the ranks. The troopers of this division all wear the “ Custer tie," a scarf of red silk, merino, or flannel tied around the neck, with the ends falling nearly to the waist. The brave fellows are cheered all along the line, and as Davis' division passes there are more cheers, for in its rear rides a lonely contraband on a mule, the picture of independence, and receiving cheers and laughter with the nonchalance of an old campaigner.
Next, with a clatter, come those pets of the cavalry, the horse batteries, brigaded under their chief, Colonel Robertson. Those three-inch rifles and brass twelves have raided it with the cavalry up and down every valley and highway in old Virginia. The batteries pass by in sections, the buglers playing the calls in chorus with fine effect. They disappear and the mixed infantry and cavalry of the Provost-Marshal's force, “the law-and-order
' brigade ” of the Army of the Potomac, take their place. The Engineer Brigade of General Benham succeeds,--men of valor, skill, and patience, members of that indefatigable corps which has bridged every notable stream of the war-which could, if necessary, bridge the Potomac yonder in three hours. Two of their famous pontoon boats follow them. Thus the cavalry passes-it has been an hour and fifteen minutes filing by,—and the infantry, headed by the gallant Ninth Corps, comes marching by, officers, men, and horses fairly covered with bouquets.
The Ninth-where has it not marciied and fought? In North Carolina first, at Roanoke Island with Burnside, then with the Army of the Potomac at South Mountain, Antietam, and Fredericksburg, then transferred to Kentucky, to Mississippi, to East Tennessee and the defence of Knoxville, and back to Virginia again, where, under Grant, it smelled powder in the battles of the Wilderness, of the James, and of the Appomattox. A score of times it has been cut to pieces, and yet it has twenty-five thousand veterans in line to-day.
Here march two regiments that fought at Roanoke on February 8, 1862. Here are the bagpipes of the Seventy-ninth New York, discoursing as stirring strains as when it marched down Broadway in the first week of the war, and here the shot-rent, bloodstained banners wave above the color-guard, some in tatters, some barely holding to the staff, and others tied to the staff, the threads too precious to lose a single one. These fragments of silk speak volumes; they are more eloquent than words, and the people greet them with thunders of applause.
A gap now intervenes and then we see the Maltese Cross of the Fifth Corps advancing up the Avenue. The men have been under arms since 5 A.M., yet they march with the free swinging step of the trained soldier, a step that carries its twentythree thousand men past in an hour and fifteen minutes. The column is closed with the Second Corps of twenty-five thousand men, and the review of the Army of the Potomac is accomplished. The marching has been by company front twenty men in line, and has been perfect in its way. The alignment has been especially commended—so many glittering bayonets in line, so many helmets, so many knapsacks, so many right feet advanced ;-thus they have passed,-companies, battalions, regiments, brigades, divisions, corps-nearly one hundred thousand men, in five and one half hours without delay, mishap, or error of any kind. No wonder the foreign