The Grand Review (Library of Congress)
With the end of hostilities close at hand, President Johnson organized a formal review of Federal soldiers in the nation’s capital in order to commemorate the service and sacrifices of then Union armies. In hopes of lifting the mood of the still mourning populace – suffering the loss of their beloved President Lincoln – three of the great armies of the Union converged on Washington in preparation of the two day celebration. On the 23rd and 24th of May respectively, Gen. Meade’s Army of the Potomac and Gen. Sherman’s Army of the Tennessee and Army of Georgia marched through the streets of Washington before weeping, and cheering throngs of onlookers. Nearly 145,000 soldiers of the three armies, accompanied by herds of cattle, miles of baggage trains, and adventurous civilians, dazzled citizens, political figures, and senior military personnel before being mustered out of service just two weeks later.