‘They Have Mustered Out Some Few’

May 27, 1865 (Sunday) The mustering out of soldiers began almost immediately following the Grand Review. Some left as early as the 25th. For others, like sixteen year old Samuel Bassitt, who had volunteered the year previous. He had marched with Sherman’s army through Georgia and the Carolinas, but in early April, he came downRead More

The Second and Last Day of the Great Pageant – The Grand Review of Sherman’s Armies

May 24, 1865 (Thursday) As with the day previous, below you’ll find text pulled from the New York Times describing the second day of the Grand Review. It is accompanied by photographs taken mostly by Matthew Brady. The men who marched from the Ohio to the Tennessee under BUELL, only to march back again; whoRead More

Propitious Weather and a Splendid Spectacle – The Grand Review of the Army of the Potomac

May 23, 1865 (Tuesday) Below are photos of today’s Grand Review culled from the Library of Congress. They are accompanied by selections of print from the New York Times. The Army of the Potomac has passed in review. The first day’s pageant is over, and to the correspondent falls the duty of depicting a sceneRead More

Drama, Gossip, and Petty Politics Still Alive in Washington

May 19, 1865 (Friday) Of late, Naval Secretary Gideon Welles’ diary entries had been short, a few sentences at best. But on this date, he returned to his windy and meandering ways, writing gossip, complaining, and recording the general drama of the time. Preston King tells me he has a letter from Senator Dixon, speakingRead More

The Last Volley of the War

May 13, 1865 (Saturday) Union Colonel Theodore Barrett, 62nd US Colored Troops, official report1: On the morning of the 13th about 200 men of the Thirty-fourth Indiana Veteran Volunteer Infantry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Morrison, joined Lieutenant-Colonel Branson. Assuming command in person of the forces thus united. I at once ordered an advance to be again madeRead More

‘You Can Retreat and Go To Hell If You Wish!’ – Undefeated Rebels in Texas

May 12, 1865 (Friday) The day previous, Col. Theodore Barrett, commanding the Federal troops at Brazos Santiago, Texas, ordered 250 men under Col. David Branson to attack and hold the nearby port of Brownsville. They marched, but were stymied by a storm and rerouted. Finding themselves in the dead of night near to a suspectedRead More

‘I Regret This Conclusion’ – The War Continues in Texas

May 11, 1865 (Thursday) The mouth of the Rio Grande River had been guarded by a small blockade of Federal ships and less than 1,000 men stationed on the small island of Brazos Santiago. In late February, General Lew Wallace (who would later gain fame for his novel Ben-Hur), was sent south from Washington toRead More