May 24, 1865: Grand Review-Sherman’s Army

 

 

The day after the Army of the Potomac marched in final review through Washington, it was the turn of the 65,000 men of Sherman’s Army of Georgia.  Sherman was afraid that his weathered Westerners would make a poor showing in comparison to the spit and polish Army of the Potomac.

There had long been a keen rivalry between the Union troops in the East and the Union troops in the West.  The troops in the West thought the Army of the Potomac got all of the publicity while the troops in the West were winning the War.  The informal Westerners derided the Easterners as “paper collar” toy soldiers.  The Army of the Potomac tended to look upon the Western troops as uncouth barbarians, more armed mobs than armies, and men who won victories against second rate Confederate troops and generals while they did battle with Robert E. Lee and his first team of the Army of Northern Virginia.

There was no way Sherman’s men were going to let Uncle Billy down and let the Army of the Potomac show them up.  When they stepped off their uniforms were clean and repaired and they marched as if they had spent the War doing formal dress parades.  Sherman was immensely pleased: (more…)

Marching Through Georgia

Something for the weekend.  Marching Through Georgia (1865).  Tennessee Ernie Ford gives us a spirited rendition.  Written by the composer Henry Clay Work in 1865, who did not participate in the march, or serve in the Union Army, the song is inextricably linked with Sherman and his troops.  Ironically, Sherman came to cordially detest the song, largely due to the fact that it was inevitably played whenever he made a public appearance.  He inserted a provision in his public speaking contracts that the song was not to be played in his presence.

The Ship That Never Returned

 

Something for the weekend:  The Ship That Never Returned.  Written in 1865 by Henry Work, who the same year wrote Marching Through Georgia, it enjoyed immense popularity.  I can’t help but imagine that many of the listeners at the time were thinking of all the ships and men lost in the maelstrom of war in the preceding four years.  The song is sung by Tom Roush who has developed quite a following on YouTube with his heart felt renditions of 19th century songs.

Published in: on May 16, 2015 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on The Ship That Never Returned  
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