July 24, 1865: Black and white in Charleston

22nd Regiment U.S. Colored Troops

Friction between black and white Union troops in Charleston.

CHARLESTON, S.C., Saturday, July 15, 1865.

The people of Charleston have just passed through a fiery ordeal. For two weeks past, until within the last three days, it has been dangerous for a respectable person to appear on the street after nightfall. Robbing, clubbing, stabbing and shooting were freely indulged in by the white soldiers, colored soldiers, and, in many instances, colored citizens. A feud seems to exist between the white and the colored troops which no military discipline has, thus far, succeeded in thoroughly eradicating. The white troops conceive that they have privileges which are not extended to the colored troops, and, on the other hand, the latter are possessed with the belief that they should be the sole guardians of the city. As a consequence many of the freedmen sympathize with and fully support their colored brethren in arms. It is no more than justice to the white citizens of the place that it should be put on record that they have not participated in these disgraceful scenes, although they have been the parties to suffer.

Last week the One Hundred and Twenty-seventh New-York Regiment were sent North, and their place was filled by the Second Battalion One Hundred and Sixty-fifth New-York Regiment, (Duryee’s Zouaves.) The very first day they occupied the post it became evident that they and the colored troops could not live together. The latter appeared to be envious of the showy uniforms of the Zouaves, and the Zouaves were impressed with the idea that the colored soldiers took special pains to insult them. On Saturday night affairs were brought to a crisis. At about 8 o’clock musketry firing was heard in the direction of the market. At first the firing was desultory, but in a minute’s time it became pretty regular, especially for a street row. It is impossible to definitely ascertain the origin of this particular disturbance. It is stated by some that the white soldiers were the aggressors, while others are positive that some colored men who kept stalls in the market were the originators of the affair. The result of the shooting was the killing of a colored man and the wounding of a Zouave and two colored men. The Zouaves had been ordered on police duty at the market. They allege that while in the performance of their duty one of their number was set upon by a colored man who keeps a stall, and that the colored man drew a knife as if to stab the Zouave. Immediately thereafter fifteen Zouaves, with loaded muskets and fixed bayonets, dashed through the market, to the great consternation of the occupants of stalls and purchasers who happened to be present. As the Zouaves pressed forward they were fired upon by colored soldiers. The Zouaves returned the fire. The colored man who was killed was an outside party. In twenty minutes’ time all was over, and not a living soul was to be seen inside the market. At 8:30, firing is heard in the direction of Meeting and Hager streets. The Zouaves meet two colored soldiers; one of the latter was wounded and taken where he could receive medical attention. All that night confusion reigned in Charleston, and, at intervals, shots were exchanged. It is not known and probably, for certain reasons, never will be known how many men were killed and wounded in this city last week in consequence of street-broils. The disturbances were not confined to any particular locality, but they prevailed throughout the city.

The Zouaves remained here ten days and were then sent over to Morris Island, where they now are. At present the Forty-seventh Pennsylvania regiment is doing post duty. Brevet Brig.-Gen. W.T. BENNETT has command of the post, but it is due to him to say that he has occupied that position but for a few days. We are firm in our belief that everything will be properly and satisfactorily adjusted under his regime. He is an officer of nerve and will, and understands how to meet the difficulties that beset him. The following is an order he has recently issued:

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 61. — I. The attention of the commander of this post having been called to the defiant and discourteous spirit manifested in the city between the troops and the civilians, both white and colored, causing of late serious and disgraceful disturbances, it is deemed necessary, and is hereby ordered that all citizens remain at their homes after eight (8) o’clock, P.M., abstaining from noisy discussions, or assembling in groups on the streets or other public places, day or night.

II. Some citizens disguised as soldiers having been engaged in disorderly acts, it is ordered that any citizen hereafter found in the United States uniform will be arrested and turned over to the Provost-Marshal.

III. At this time of comparative peace, when the energies of the nation are absorbed in the restoration of harmony and the reestablishment of good feeling among all classes entitled to the rights of citizenship, discourtesy toward civilians is beneath the dignity of soldiers. Respectful department among soldiers, as well as toward their officers, is an indication of good discipline in any command; but courtesy without humility toward those who have no claim except upon your manhood, is the best guarantee of good breeding and nobleness of character. It is enjoined upon the enlisted men in this city that they behave insolently to no person, of whatever color; that they do not monopolize the sidewalks or assemble in groups to the inconvenience of women or other passers by. Citizens should remember that civil rule is not established, and that any act of theirs which may lead to difficulties with the troops will tend to protract that end. Their bearing should be in no manner defiant or discourteous to the troops, and any insolence leading to disturbances will subject the offenders to punishment. Upon the creation of any disturbance, during the day or night, the commanding officer of the district of the city in which it may occur, will at once send patrols, under commissioned officers, to arrest all persons found in the streets in the vicinity of the disturbance, except persons on important business, who will be required to report at the nearest guard for an escort.

By order of
Brevet Brig.-Gen. W.T. BENNETT, Com’g Post.
CHARLES F. JOY, First Lieut. 54th Mass. Vols, and A.A.A. Gen.
Official: CHARLES G. CHIPMAN, Capt. 54th Mass. Vols., A.A.D.C.

Posted in Charleston, South Carolina, U.S. Colored Troops | Leave a comment

July 18, 1865: Texas freedmen, stay home


The New York Times prints a variety of items from New Orleans, including the admonition for freed slaves to stay with their former masters in Texas — apparently this is one view of reconstruction.

NEW-ORLEANS, Saturday, July 15.

The steamship Guiding Star, from New-York, has arrived.

Gen. MEJIA, by command of Gen. BRECKINRIDGE, has delivered up the battery and other property received from the Confederacy.

The sugar and cotton crops of Texas will be short on account of the disorder occasioned by the employment of free labor.

The freedmen have been directed to remain with their former masters, with the assurance that no forfeiture of their rights of freedom will be tolerated.

Texas dates of the 12th inst. say that State is infested by jayhawkers and thieves of the very worst stamp. In the interior where the Federal force have not penetrated they are doing much damage.

An interesting discussion is now going on before the United States District Court as to what constitutes the oath of allegiance.

The cotton market is rather quiet at 47c. for Middlings. The depression in domestic exchange restricts operations.

Sugar and Molasses are quiet.

CAIRO, Saturday, July 15.

Major PUTNAM, of Gen. CANBY’s Staff, has arrived here, en route for Washington, with the flags surrendered by Gen. DICK TAYLOR.

Stringent orders have been issued by the commanders of the cavalry marching through Texas to prevent the soldiers from straggling and plundering. None are allowed to enter private houses. All negroes leaving the fields to follow the army are driven back.

The Central Texas Railroad, a work of importance to the troops, is being rapidly pushed forward to completion.
No rain has fallen in portions of Eastern Mississippi since the 1st of May. The crops will be very short, and especially the corn crop.

The stock of cotton in New-Orleans on the 10th inst. was 30,000 bales. Buyers were holding off for lower rates.
Four hundred bales of cotton, 300 hogsheads and 200 boxes of sugar have arrived here in the last twenty-four hours.

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July 13, 1865: How to deal with freedmen

Emancipated Slaves

The New York Times reprints several editorials from British papers. What should be done with the freed slaves? Can they work for wages? Can they stand the northern climate? Are the northerners or southerners treating them as equals?

Published: July 13, 1865

From the London Post, June 29.

But Mr. JOHNSON and his advisers would properly lay themselves open to reproach if they inaugurate a policy which has a tendency to enhance, instead of relieving existing evils. It has already been shown to demonstration that the great mass of slaves cannot, on their emancipation, be brought to labor for hire, and the invariable result of what we may form violent acts of manumission has been an amount of destitution of which only eyewitness can form an adequate idea. It is perfectly idle to say that it is a negro's fault if he will not work in order to save himself from starvation. A slave cast upon the world to work for himself is as helpless and unreasoning as a child. Besides, in the large majority of cases, work is not provided for the freedom, or, it provided, the wages are, in the hands of a man unacquainted with the value or the use of money, utterly insufficient to provide for his wants. Mr. JOHNSON is not without experience: he will, therefore, have no excuse if, with the knowledge which he now possesses, he should at one tell swoop consign the entire colored population of the South to what will be tantamount to a condition of hopeless destitution.

From the London Post, June 30

It argues debasement, as well as laziness, that negroes should prefer squatting in New-York and Canada, hanging to the skirts of people who in no case more than tolerate them, subjecting themselves to the rigor of a climate their physique is not calculated to bear, when countries like Hayti, our own West India Islands, Guina -- not to speak of the Mauritius -- would gladly receive them if they would only consent to reasonable work. If the rejoinder be made that the attraction Canada, the Northern States, and England possessed for the negro was one for which white social humanitarians were partly responsible, one referable to a sentiment of pity, elicited by thoughts of slavery, that much indeed will have to be granted, but with the counter rejoinder that the negro has always done his utmost to foster and uphold the sentiment beyond the bounds of its just and profitable application. At any rate the conditions for that sympathy have ceased; and if American negroes were capable of forecasting events as determined by conditions obvious, they would not try the dangerous experiment of attempting to live amongst white men without working, far less to commit excesses, at a time when the blood of the South is so maddened against them, and people of the North are well nigh tired of benevolence in their favor.

From the London Herald, June 30.

The Americans of the North are boasting that they have set free the negro. We are waiting for some evidence, however, to show that the African black has regained those human rights which are denied to the captive statesmen and soldiers of the South. But the patience of the world, it seems, must be tested for a long time before the dark race is actually admitted, at Washington or New-York, to an ostensible equality with the patriots of the Broadway. Now, indeed, the question is, whether Uncle Tom shall have a vote. A thousand journals, it is asserted by disputants on both sides, are arguing the point as though it involved the whole future of the commonwealth. But it is a remarkable fact that the very men who have been blustering about emancipation as their policy, and equality as its natural result, are indignant with the negroes of Tennessee for daring to memorialize the State Legislature and insist upon the suffrage for themselves. Tennessee, perhaps, may accord them the privilege. Its Governor does a little trade in popularity on his own account, by advocating their claims, though he does so upon the ground that they would neutralize the influence of the disloyal whites; but what of ANDREW JOHNSON, the illustrious predecessor of Parson BROWNLOW? He waits for the advice of Congress -- he dreads the "nigger doctrine" -- he leaves Judge CHASE to exalt black audiences with the belief that they are the salt of the earth; he allows the ebony people to be free, but doubts their capacity to exercise a constitutional franchise. Well, what will Cuffee do? How will he appreciate his new masters? He is "a man and a brother;" but is he to be a "fellow-citizen?" Clearly, he may be designated "a man," and hailed from a distance as "a brother;" yet where is the public conveyance which will carry him uninsulted? Where is the steamboat on the deck of which ho is the equal of uncolored passengers? Where are the Yankee laborers who will work where he is employed? It is hardly time as yet to discuss his political Magna Charta in "the home of the setting sun." That may be done after his liberators have determined whether he shall remain an outcast, outlaw, and leper, or be transported to the moral desolation of Liberia, where a little amateur Africa languishes, ill calculated to fulfill the sublime hopes of BOLINGBROKE for the professors of "Talkee-talkee, or the negro language." "We desire to vote at elections," ejaculate the Nigritian patriots of Tennessee. "Keep your sonorous nonsense to yourselves," rejoin their emancipators, "and do not bring your Dutch, French, Spanish Portuguese, Hottentot, and Mumbo-Jumbo dialets to the polling-booths of a civilized republic, the greatest on the earth. It is interesting from many points of view to watch the progress of this controversy; but one fact is palpable -- that the hatred of the North American for the negro is more intense and pitiless than ever. He spurns him; his organs regret that he and his species cannot be "put up to auction wholesale to stock the plantations of Dutch Guiana;" and one of the very journals which eulogised ABRAHAM LINCOLN as "the father of African liberty in the New World," lately protested against "the ludicrous impossibility" of a wooley-headed population existing in any relationship with a nation of whites.

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June 29, 1865: Ending slavery in Kentucky

Governor Bramlette

The New York Times reports a speech by Kentucky governor Bramlette. He advocates ratification of the 13th Amendment and establishing a free labor system. I’m not sure what his point was about the ownership of land; was he advocating redistribution of land from the former slaveowners to the (white) masses?

Gov. Bramlette of Kentucky on Emancipation.

LOUISVILLE, Thursday, June 29.

Gov. BRAMLETTE addressed the citizens this evening in favor of the Constitutional Amendment and the advantages of free over slave labor in Kentucky. He said slavery has been utterly overthrown, and proved the impossibility of its restoration. He urged the people to proceed to establish a system of free labor, as dictated by wisdom and their interest, showed by statistics of the population and the occupation of land by slave-holders and non-slave-holders, that the rich lands of the State were in the hands of a class exceedingly small in comparison with the popular masses, urged the organization of the free white laborers of the State to take care in future of their own interests. He said the necessity existed for the immediate action of Kentucky in disposing of the vexed question of slavery, the progress of events having practically destroyed the institution itself. Gov. BRAMLETTE discussed at some length the second section of the amendment, and answered, with overwhelming power, the objections urged against it, such as that the amendment gives Congress power to confer the elective franchise upon emancipated slaves, and thus makes social equality. He said the section gives Congress no more power than under the constitution now existing, and this second section meant simply that Congress should, by appropriation or necessary legislation, prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude in the State.

Posted in 13th Amendment, Abolitionism, Emancipation, Kentucky, Slavery | 1 Comment

June 24, 1865: Ignorance in the south

(former?) Slaves learning to read

The New York Times argues that the poor whites of the south need education just as much as the former slaves do, both having been raised in ignorance by the design of the rich planters.

What We Owe to the New South The Prevalence and Density of Popular Ignorance.
Published: June 24, 1865

We have other duties to the States and people of the South, beside those that apply to its material interests.
Not only the four million blacks, but the great body of the poor whites of that section, have always been in the densest ignorance. The common-school system and the universal popular education of the free States, have never been appreciated or imitated in the Southern States. A select few of the planting classes had, doubtless, a very thorough education and culture; and the body of the planters, as well as the business men of the towns, had a certain amount of school learning; but the generality of the poorer white classes of Virginia and North Carolina, as well as of the cotton States, were absolutely destitute of even the primary elements of knowledge.

The census statistics on this subject are bad enough; but they fall very far short of exhibiting the real state of affairs. A person who was present at the paroling of the armies of LEE and JOHNSTON, has declared that less than a fifth of the privates could sign their own name. It was this want of popular education and intelligence that gave the Southern leaders and planters such great power in their respective States, and enabled them to practice such terrible deceptions upon the masses.

Before the war, the North could do but little to improve this condition of things among their Southern countrymen. Northern schoolmasters — though there were hardly any other schoolmasters but Northern ones in the South — were looked on with suspicion, denounced as Abolitionists, and not unfrequently driven away or lynched. There was no law for their protection and little encouragement for their labors. The planting aristocracy did not desire the education of the poorer classes, and the latter cared little for it themselves.

In some of the States, as South Carolina, there were leading public men, such as Mr. FABER, who took the strongest ground against all education for working people, white as well as black, arguing that it only rendered them more wretched, and less content with, their lot in life and position in society. The result of these things — which, in their turn, were the result of slavery and the peculiar social order of the South — was that the great bulk of the Southern whites grew up without education, knowledge or intelligence.

There is now an open field all over the South for intelligent people of the Free States to improve its condition in this regard. The schoolmaster is needed in the Southern States. The way is free for him; the opportunity is before him. In ten States, with ten millions of people, there is abundant scope for his labors. They should not wait till the Southerners call them, but they should go as good men go to India or Africa, bearing with them the light of intelligence, freedom and civilization. There is missionary ground enough now in the South. Thus far hardly anything has been done for those poor ignorant whites. A great deal more has been done for the blacks, who need it as much, perhaps, but no more.

We would especially ask attention to this subject of popular education on the part of those who are engaged in the incipient labors of reconstituting government and social order in the States of the South. It should be laid on the broadest basis at the very first, and, out of the great resources of the South, the most ample provision should be made for it. The old order of things has been overthrown; the old and exclusive ruling and domineering class have passed away. Henceforth, the South requires for its safety an educated and intelligent democracy. The constitution-makers and Legislatures of the South, cooperating with the people of the North, can, in the coming year, lay the foundation of its permanent existence.

Posted in Education, Reconstruction | 1 Comment

June 20, 1865: What to do with the Missouri Swamp Fox

Meriwether Jeff Thompson

The rebel guerrilla Jeff Thompson, sometimes referred to as the “Missouri Swamp Fox” because of his actions in the sloughs of “swampeast Missouri”, has surrendered, and is awaiting a pardon decision.

FROM CAIRO.; Affairs in Arkansas Movements of Jeff. Thompson.
Published: June 20, 1865

The flag-of-truce boat has arrived here with 1,454 men belonging to JEFF. THOMPSON’s army, including 686 officers.

JEFF. THOMPSON came as far as Memphis, where he remains awaiting the decision of President JOHNSON relative to his petition for pardon.

Gen. REYNOLDS has taken the initiatory steps toward establishing civil courts throughout Northern Arkansas.

Garrisons have been established along the White River.

The people of Arkansas are rapidly becoming orderly and peaceful citizens.

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May 25, 1865: End of part 1, and a little break

Shiloh - Cloud Field

I started this blog on August 2, 2010. Every day since then I have posted something from a primary source dated 150 years previously, a total of over 1750 posts. I had read a lot about the Civil War previously, but I have to say that watching it day by day is a very different experience. Events that are compressed in the history books drag out to their actual length, and the frustrations of waiting, the uncertainties of the outcome, and the anxious searching for information are much more real to me now. I’m about to take a couple of weeks’ vacation — both in real life and from the blog. When I get back, I plan to resume the blog on a weekly basis, covering the much longer second act of the war: Reconstruction.

I hope people have found this blog enjoyable and interesting so far, and I look forward to the next stage.

-Allen Gathman

Posted in Reconstruction | 4 Comments

May 24, 1865: The Grand Review, and caring for the troops

Sherman’s Army in Review


The New York Times pays tribute to the soldiers who saved the Union. The Grand Review is over, Sherman’s armies having marched on the second day, and the Times calls for government employment of veterans.

The last great scene of the war has closed. It has been everything that could impress the senses and stir the imagination. Every American who has seen it, or even read of it, has rejoiced in its “pride, and pomp, and circumstance.” His pulse has been quickened by all its heroic associations, and by all its suggestions of the might and majesty of the republic. As a mere military spectacle, its like, in all probability, will never hereafter be seen on this continent. It is not easy to conceive any occasion that will ever again bring together two hundred thousand American soldiers. So soon as order and security are fully reestablished, our armies will again be reduced to a handfull. This rebellion has had such a terrible overthrow, that it seems certain that no other will ever be attempted. It is likely enough that, at some future time, we shall become engaged in war with some Power across the ocean; but such a war would be almost exclusively maritime, and no extensive enlistments of soldiers would be required. We may declare almost positively that this American Republic will never again see such another array of armed men. That in itself would make this parade an occasion of transcendent mark. And yet how tame is the mere circumstance of numbers in this case. Who gives a thought to the bare fact that two hundred thousand soldiers have been reviewed in the National Capital? The thought that fills the mind is not how many soldiers; but what soldiers. Who would not rather see the three hundred of Thermopylae than all the millions of Xerxes? It is not because these two hundred thousand are men in uniform, but because they are heroes, and the savers of the republic, that this gathering of them so thrills! It is the matchless glory and worth of their deeds that makes this spectacle forever memorable.

But while all these jubilations are going up to the skies at the sight of the soldiers who have done the grandest work since time began, let it not be for an instant forgotten that praise is but breath, and that all this show of honor will be no better than a mockery, unless it is followed with a practical concern for the comfort of those whom the hard fortune of war has deprived of their former ability to do stout work for their livelihood. Tens of thousands have come out of the struggle thus disabled. It would be a high crime in the government and the people to lose care for these men. The government is religiously bound to give them the preference in the bestowment of such offices as they could adequately fill. There are thousands of such offices in the gift of the government — postmasters, clerks in the departments, tax-collectors, lighthouse-keepers, many of the custom-house employes, &c., &c. — and, in their great variety, a place can, with a little pains, be found suited to the abilities of every maimed soldier who is not so utterly disabled as to be the fit inmate of a national Invalides. If we had a government that could content itself with simply paying its meagre pension, refusing all other recompense, to the men who have rescued it from destruction, when such recompense would cost it nothing and yet save them from suffering, it would deserve the contempt of the civilized world. European rulers freely bestow their local offices not only upon their wounded soldiers, but upon those who have served faithfully without injury. The traveler over the continent is constantly reminded of the care thus exercised. He hardly sees even a conductor upon a railroad who is not an honorably discharged soldier from the army — all railroad appointments being made by the government. It ought to be a general understanding with all parties that hereafter our political patronage shall be dispensed, so far as possible, for the benefit of those who have suffered for the rescue of the republic. It is the prostitution of this patronage in past times that, more than any other cause, has corrupted and degraded our public life. The only way to get clear of this curse is to make patriotic, instead of party, service the title to preferment. Surely there can be no better beginning than to give to honorably discharged soldiers, particularly those who are maimed, permanent civil situations, suited to their abilities. A similar acknowledgment to patriotic service must also be made by the people in bestowing desirable situations within the scope of their business. Other things being equal, the soldier applicant should always have the preference. By this practical method alone, can the government and the people truly certify the sincerity of all the present plaudits.

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May 23, 1865: First day of the Grand Review

Meade passes the reviewing stand

The New York Times reports on the spectacle of the first day of the Grand Review. The Army of the Potomac marches today.

Dispatch to the Associated Press.

WASHINGTON, Tuesday, May 23.

The weather to-day was everything that could be desired for the unprecedentedly grand review of the Army of the Potomac. The atmosphere was pleasant, the sun shone with unclouded splendor, and the recent rains had laid the dust, putting the streets in good marching condition. Thousands of persons, including many from other cities, who have specially come hither to see the pageant, line the sidewalk from the Capitol to the Executive mansion, a distance of a mile and a half, while windows and balconies, and all eligible positions, including house-tops, were occupied, by deeply interested spectators. All public business was suspended, and there was a general holiday. The Capitol bore the motto, in large letters: “The only national debt we never can pay is the debt we owe to the victorious Union soldiers.” But few citizens were at home; they were nearly all abroad to witness the movement of the Army of the Potomac — the tens of thousands of tried veterans. The national flag flew high from all the public buildings, while from the windows on the line of the procession, the Stars and Stripes were profusely displayed.

The troops began to move from the north of the Capitol at nine o’clock this morning. At the latter place at least two thousand school-girls were assembled, neatly dressed in Summer clothes, and there was much pleasant excitement at among them in pressing forward to present flowers to the soldiers, who gallantly bowed their thanks. These children also sung patriotic songs.

The immense column moved in the following order:

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, Maj.-Gen. MEADE commanding; General Staff Headquarters; Squadron First Massachusetts Cavalry, Capt. HUNT commanding; Cavalry Corps, Maj.-Gen. MERRITT commanding; General Staff Headquarters Escort, Fifth United States Cavalry, Lieut. URBAN commanding; Third Cavalry Division, Maj.-Gen. CUSTER commanding. This officer was vociferously cheered at various points of the line, and was somewhat encumbered by wreaths and bouquets which had been presented to him,and which he appreciatingly carried with his left arm. Other officers were similarly honored by cheers, and floral gifts and the waving of handkerchiefs by ladies. Next follow the Second and First Cavalry Divisions, commanded respectively by Brevet Major Davies and Brevet Maj.-Gen. Devins, the Horse Artillery Brigade, the Provost-Marshal General’s Brigade and the Engineer Brigade. The troops composing these bodies were composed in large part from New-York, West Virginia, Vermont, Connecticut, Ohio, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Michigan. Ninth Corps, Maj.-Gen. Parke commanding. The First Division commanded by Brevet Maj.-Gen. Wilcox; the Second Division by Brig.-Gen. Griflin; and the Third Division by Brevet Brig.-Gen. Curtin. These troops were from Wisconsin, Michigan, New-York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Massachusetts, New-Jersey, Rhode Island, New-Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. Next followed a division of the Nineteenth Army Corps, commanded by Brig.-Gen. Dwight, including an artillery brigade, the troops being from Maine, New-York, Vermont, Connecticut and Massachesetts. The Fifth Corps, Brevet Maj.-Gen. Charles Griffin, commanding. The First Division commanded by Brig.-Gen. Chamberlain; the Second Division by Brevet Maj.-Gen. Ayres; and the Third Division by Brevet Maj.-Gen. Crawford. These troops were composed of volunteers from Pennsylvania, New-York, Maine, Massachuseets, Michigan, Maryland, Delaware, Wisconsin, with United States Artillery. Next came the Second Corps, Maj.-Gen. Humphreys, commanding. The First Division was commanded by Brevet Brig.-Gen. Ramsey; the Second by Brevet Brig.-Gen. Barlow, and the Third by Brevet Brig.-Gen. Mott. The troops were principally from New-York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New-Hampshire, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Delaware, Ohio, Western Virginia, New-Jersey, Connecticut, Maine and Indiana.

The troops, as they moved along Pennsylvania-avenue, presented a grand appearance, all arms of the service being represented in full force. The occasional insertion of a body of Zouaves served to relieve the sameness. The dark and light blue uniforms gave a fine effect to the spectacle. Looking up the broad Pennsylvania-avenue, there was a continuous moving line, as far as the eye could reach, of National, State, division, brigade, regiment, and other flags. Some of them were now, the stars of gold leaf glittering in the sun, and these contrasted strongly with flags borne in the procession, tattered in battle, or mere shreds. Other flags were thickly covered with names and dates of battle fields where victories were won by these proud veterans. The flag-staffs were decorated with flowers, and very many baquets hung from the muzzles of muskets. These troops did not, as to dress, present a war-worn appearance; they were all well and cleanly clad, and their fine marching elicited praise from every tongue. On the southside of the avenue, fronting the Executive mansion, a stand was hung handsomely and heavily festooned with national flags; at various points were the inscriptions: “Atlanta,” “Wilderness,” “Stone River,” “South Mountain,” “Shiloh,” “Vicksburg,” “Savannanh,” “Richmond,” “Petersburgh,” and “Coal Harbor.” This stand was in part occupied by President JOHNSON members of the Cabinet, Gens. Grant and Sherman, and other distinguished army officers. On the left were members of the Aiplomatic corps and their familes, two hundred tickets haaving been issued to this class of spectators. On the stands provided for the purpose were George Bancroft, and the following named Governors of States: Crapo, Buckingham, Andrew, Fenton, Fairchilds, Bradford, Curtin and Smith; Senators Wade, Sherman, Wilson, Johnson, Chandler, Harris, Hendrickson, Dixon, Foster, Morgan, Conness, Lane of Kansas; and Representatives Schenck, Hooper, Marston, Lynch, Hayes, Porter, Kelly, Jenckes, Loan, and Ex-Speaker Grow. There were at least thirty naval officers bearing the highest rank, and as many army officers, including Gens. Hancock, Wilcox, Cadwallader, Hitchcock, Newton and Rawlins. As corps and divisions passed in review of the President and Lieut.-Gen. Grant, their commanders severally left the column, and took seats on the platform. The Judges of the courts, the chiefs of the government bureaus, and other public officers, were similarly accommodated. The crowd in that part of the city was extremely dense, it being the main point of attraction, and the reviewing place, where were assembled the highest dignitaries. Gen. Custer rode a powerful horse, restive, and at times ungovernable. When near the Treasury Department, the animal madly dashed forward to the head of the line. The General vainly attempted to check his course, and at the same time endeavoring to retain the weight of flowers which had previously been placed upon him. In the flight, the General lost his hat. He finally conquered his horse, and rejoined his column. Passing the President’s stand he made a low bow, and was applauded by the multitude. Between the rear of the Ninth Corps and the advance of the Fifth Corps, there was an interval of ten or fifteen minutes. An immense number of persons rushed into the opening, which was in front of the stand occupied by President JOHNSON, Gen. GRANT and the members of the Cabinet, and gave each one repeated cheers. These gentlemen severally rose and bowed their acknowledgment of the honor. The troops occupied six hours in the review — from 9 o’clock in the morning until 3 o’clock in the afternoon. In military phrase the “cadence step” was taken from the Capitol to Seventeenth-street, from which point the various organizations proceeded on the march to their separate quarters. The review is spoken of as the greatest which has ever taken place on the continent. It was a grand affair, and suggestive of trials and victories of the Army of the Potomac.


WASHINTON, Tuesday, May 23 — 10 P.M.

The general idea is that the number of troops comprising the Army of the Potomac, reviewed to-day, is about seventy-five thousand. No negro troops were in the procession. From the portico of the Treasury Department to-day, the flag of the Treasury Guard Regiment was displayed, the lower portion tattered and torn, not by battle, but by the spur of BOOTH, the assassin, as he jumped from the box at Ford’s Theatre to the stage, on the night of the assassination. A placard appended stated this fact and it attracted much attention.

Lieut.-Gen. GRANT, accompanied by an orderly only, rode on Pennsylvania-avenue this evening. Crowds of people on the sidewalks cheered him. He lifted his hat in compliment.

Thousands of strangers left the city after the review to-day, but their places have been supplied by at least an equal number, to witness the review of SHERMAN’S army, which is to take place to-morrow. So large is the influx from a distance that many find it impossible to secure lodging accommodations.

We have only time to say of the grand review yesterday at Washington that it was fully equal to public expectation. The day was fair, the crowd more than immense, and as the various divisions and brigades marched through the grand street of the capitol, the memory was busy with their glorious history, and the heart was eloquent beyond the capacity of the tongue with their heroic deeds. Every “battle-field, from the first Bull Run to the surrender of LEE, was gloriously represented; the banners that went through fire to victory were there, and the noble men who survived the leaden storm were proudly marched under them. Now and then, as some gallant officer made a conspicuous part in the procession, the applause became vociferous, and wreaths of laurel and showers of flowers were lavished upon him. So far as our special and general accounts inform us, the first day of the grand review was all that could be expected of national glorification. Nearly 100,000 men honored the country by participating in the grand pageant, and received a mere shadowing of the grateful welcomes that await them at the homes for which they have so bravely and successfully fought.

While the national authorities at Washington were preparing for, and tens of thousands of loyal people were hastening to that city to see the grand parade of our victorious armies, a very different scene was being enacted at Fortress Monroe. There had been cool and roomy cells fitted up in that fort for certain distinguished gentlemen now under the care of the government, and on Monday Mr. JEFFERSON DAVIS, who but a few days ago imagined himself President of a Southern Confederacy, was respectfully invited to occupy a room in that burglar-proof establishment. Mr. ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS, Mr. C.C. CLAY and others of Mr. DAVIS’s friends, were, we presume, similarly accommodated, while Mrs. DAVIS and her children — for whom we are sure no one can fail to express sincere sympathy — were compelled to separrate from the chief prisoner and prepare to go South. The government has thus safely disposed of the heads of the rebellion, and the soil of Virginia is once more the home of the man who made that State almost a desert, and sent thousands of her sons to untimely graves to gratify his unholy ambition.

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May 22, 1865: More on the Grand Review


Washington is full of spectators and troops.

The military display of the present week is the absorbing topic of excitement and anticipation among all classes. The turnout of spectators promises to be immense, greater than on any previous occasion for many months. Gen. MEADE issued an order to-day prescribing the movements of the Army of the Potomac on the day of their parade, and previously, with reference to getting into position. The cavalry corps, under Maj.-Gen. MERRITT, will lead the column, followed by the Ninth Corps, and Gen. DWIGHT’s division of the Nineteenth Corps. The Fifth Corps will follow, and the Second Corps bring up the rear. The artillery will be stationed in their appropriate places, and where practicable will move battery front. The regiments will be formed in column of companies, each company to consist of twenty files, or twenty men abreast. The cadence step will be observed all through the avenue until reaching Seventeenth-street. It is estimated that at this rate eight thousand men per hour can pass the reviewing officer.

It has been decided by the government that after the grand review, every regiment to be discharged will be allowed to go to the State and district in which it was raised, carrying its arms and colors with it, and be there mustered out. This is eminently just, and will be highly gratifying to the great body of our soldiers and to their friends.

The city is as full as it was at the inauguration, while still greater crowds are expected to-morrow and Tuesday morning. People are coming from all parts of the country, and many men of prominence will be here. Among the arrivals from New-York, I notice several prominent bankers, among whom are JOHN D. JONES, GEO. D. COE, J.D. VERMILYE and others.

As an evidence of the result of the order for mustering out all troops whose terms expire prior to Oct. 1, it may be stated that after this is done, the Fifth Army Corps alone will retain fourteen to fifteen thousand men.

Maj.-Gen. SHERMAN visited the city yesterday, the first time in several years, and spent considerable portion of the day at Gen. GRANT’s headquarters, at the War Department, and subsequently had an interview with the President. Gen SHERMAN is said to have expressed himself as much pleased with his reception by the President.

There arrived here yesterday a delegation of North Carolina Union, men, consisting of Hon. W. HOLDEN, the well known conservative leader of that State, and Mr. W.R. RICHARDSON, editor of the Raleigh Progress, Hon. R.P. DICK, of Greensboro; W.S. MASON, J.P. H. RUSS, and JOHN G. WILLIAMS, of Raleigh. They come as representative of the radical union sentiment of the State, and the purpose of their mission is a full and free consultation as to the best and most speedy means of reorganizing the State government of North Carolina.

To this end have have already had one interview with the President, and will have another to-morrow.

These gentlemen assert that the party known during the war as the “Conservative” party in that State, was in reality composed mainly of Union men, who were compelled to assume the guise of opposition to the ultra advocates of secession, and that two years age Gov. VANCE was elected to his position as a professed representative of that party, but that he betrayed those who placed him in power by becoming the tool of JEFF. DAVIS. The first stop taken in North Carolina reconstruction will be the appointment of a Military Governor, under whose call a State Convention shall meet and devise measures for the proper amendment of the State Constitution and the election of State officers and members of Congress.

In addition to the gentlemen above named, Ex-Gov. DAVID L. SWAIN and Messrs. WM. EATON and L.F. MOOSE, of North Carolina, are in the city.

Gen. SHERIDAN’s new command virtually supersedes Gen. CANBY in the command of the Military Division of the Mississippi. Gen. CANDY has been assigned to the command of the Department of the Gulf, which relieves Gen. BANKS, who is ordered to report to the Adjutant-General of the army. The Department of the Gulf is considerably extended and will hereafter include several States heretofore included in other departments. This action, so far as it refers to Gen. BANKS, is of a purely military character, and is not done as the result of the labors of any investigating committee, or because of charges preferred or pressure brought to bear against Gen. BANKS by the politicians now here. These parties have never had an interview with Gen. GRANT, and he knows nothing of their views of wishes. This change in these several commands has been contemplated several weeks.

The departure of Gens. SHERIDAN and GUSTER and MERRITT, with their respective staffs, for a new field of operations west of the Mississippi was made the occasion last night and to-day of quite an ovation by the forces lately under their command, and of many congratulatory leave-takings by brother officers and civilian friends. Late last night a splendid band, stationed under the window of Gen. GRANT’s room at Willard’s Hotel on Fourteenth-street, paid Gen. SHERIDAN the compliment of a fine serenade. At an interval in the music, the General was called upon for a speech, to which he responded very briefly and pithily as follows:

GENTLEMAN: I am very much obliged to you. My only regret is that I have been so long in the service that I can’t make a speech. I am very much obliged to you. Good night.

With this shot the crowd took their departure.

This morning, about 9 o’clock, the cavalry corps moved from their camp, south of the Potomac, across Long Bridge, and marching up Fourteenth-street, passed in review before their old commander, who took a farewell look at his brave troopers, who never yet failed him on the battle-field, and whose services at Five Forks and Appomattox Court-house were of inestimable value to the republic. The troops moved by platoons, and presented, in reality, a veteran appearance. Maj.-Gen. MERRITT commanded the corps, Gen. CROOK being on leave of absence. Maj.Gen. CUSTER led his division in his usual dashing style.

After passing through the avenue they moved out east of the Capitol and went into bivouac, preparatory to the great parade of Tuesday, when they lead the column. As the corps passed through the streets to-day it attracted great attention and admiration from the torn and battle-scarred appearance of its guidons and flags, and the veteran aspect of the gallant men and officers.

At six o’clock this evening Gen. SHERIDAN and staff took their departure for the West via New-York and Cincinnati. The General is accompanied by the following members of his staff: Brevet Brig.-Gen- Forsyth, Chief of Staff; Lieut.-Col. Newall, Assistant Adjutant-General; Maj. Lee, Assistant Adjutant-General; Lieut.-Col. SHERMAN, Inspector-General; Col. FORSYTH, Maj. MOORE, Maj. PARSONS, Maj. KIP and Capt. SHERIDAN, Aids-de-Camp; Maj. GILLESPIE and Capt. ALLEN, Engineers; Capt. MCGONIGAL, Chief Quartermaster; Surgeon GHISELIN, Chief Medical Officer. Gen. SHERIDAN will take command of all the troops west of the Mississippi, headquarters in the field. Gens. CUSTER, and MERRITT will remain here until Wednesday to participate in the review.

Assistant Secretary of War DANA has announced his intention of resigning, to take effect in two months, for the purpose of assuming the editorial conduct of a now Republican daily paper to be started in Chicago.

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