The Grand Review of the Armies
happened on May 23rd and 24th, 1865 after the formal end of The Civil War. Much of the Union Army paraded through the streets of Washington (most importantly, Pennsylvania Ave.), much to the cheers and adulation of the crowd. The country had just been through four horrible years of war, capped off by the assassination of their beloved president at Ford's Theatre
just a month earlier.
Three of the armies were able to make it back to Washington City to take part in the parades. The Army of the Tennessee
and The Army of Georgia
marched 250 miles under the command of General William T. Sherman
to arrive in time. The Army of the Potomac
, led by General George Meade
had just been victorious over Robert E. Lee in Virginia and was just across the river from the District
The officers in these armies had not seen each other for many years and were able to reconnect in the city, while enlisted infantrymen spent their time eating and drinking in the local establishments, often coming to blows
over which army was superior.