Ohio History Journal

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140 Ohio Arch

140        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.



It was indeed a rare opportunity for a boy of fifteen to visit

Washington and witness the grand review of the victorious

Union armies in May, 1865. Some idea of what this implied

may be gathered from a communication describing the event,

written by Mr. Randall's father, Rev. D. A. Randall, and pub-

lished in a Cincinnati paper. As already stated the two were

companions on this occasion and seated side by side opposite

the reviewing stand distinctly saw the great leaders civil and

military as well as the victorious troops of the long procession

that marched by. Rev. Randall's description is in part as follows:


"Tuesday and Wednesday of this week were proud days for the

American Republic. Never before in the history of the country has there

been such an exhibition-seldom  in the history of the world. It was

worth a long pilgrimage to stand on Arlington Heights, and see the al-

most endless columns of our victorious troops, as from their numerous

encampments, by regiments, brigades, divisions and corps, they came down

from the hills, emerged from the valleys, and tramped to the cadence of

soul-inspiring music across the long bridge of the Potomac. Most of

them had crossed that bridge on their way out to the battlefields of the

South. Then they went with anxious hearts. A dark cloud hung over

the land-the fate of the country seemed to hang in a vibrating scale,

and even bold hearts were anxious and trembled for the result. Now this

great question had been settled. The enemies of our country had been

discomfited, their armed legions beaten and scattered, their leaders cap-

tive and in irons. The dark cloud had lifted upward; through its rent

folds was streaming the sunlight of peace and prosperity, and over it

hung the golden bow of hope.

*    *   *

"After a short pause there was a bustle in the crowd, and an eager

straining of eyes. 'There comes Sherman, there comes Sherman,' and

sure enough the hero who penetrated the shell of the hollow Confederacy,

and marched his victorious army through its very centre stood before us.

With firm and dignified step, amid the cheers of the multitude he ascended

to the platform. 'There,' said my friend again, 'that large, noble looking

man is Major General Hancock, and that one with a thin, sunburnt face,

and soft slouched hat is Major General Hunter.'-Major General badges

were thick as stars in a clear night. Soon I had a list of about twenty

and got tired of keeping the account.

"Again there was a movement in the crowd. A carriage stopped be-

fore the platform. There's President Johnson, there is Secretary Stanton,