Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Eugene Casey Installment #4 “The Grand Review” May 1865

When we crossed the Potomac River on to Washington for the Grand Review, Sherman’s Army marched down Pennsylvania Avenue in fatigued clothes with all accoutrements as Co. inline down Pennsylvania Avenue 50,000 strong. All assigned camps until ordered to Louisville, Kentucky to be mustered out.

We entrained on the B.O. Railroad. We passed Harper’s Ferry. When we got to Parkersburg, VA. we got on a steam boat, our K 30 Illinois Infantry. This boat stopped at Cincinnati, Ohio overnight, morning went to Louisville , Kentucky stayed there awhile then was ordered to Camp Butler, Springfield, Illinois stopped there until ordered home, furnished fare to Trenton, Illinois, on the O&M.

First job I got cutting corn for a farmer, stayed in Trenton until I went to Mississippi, landed at Skipwick Landing, went out on lake side plantation with H. G.e, George Lockwood who rented the plantation form Doctor Turnbull at the rate if $10.00 per acre for 1,000 acres. All negores had to be to be hired from the forced men’s bureau, located at Vicksburg, Mississippi. General O.O. Howard was President of the Bureau. The negroes was paid 10 to 20 dollars per month and was furnished log cabins and grub and Doctors attendance free. Lint cotton was worth $11.00 per pound. The cotton seed then went to waste. Lockwood & Champion paid $20,000 rent and only raised the first year, 1867, 157 bales of cotton, should have raised 800 or 900 bales; lost on account the overflowing high water, the river was 60 miles wide. The next year loss was the same, in 1868 account of the cotton worm. Those losses broke them up. Total loss was $65,000 after paid out all expenses.
This is the end of what Eugene Casey wrote. I am so grateful he wrote as much as he did, but of course, I wish there were more. I will add a bit more about the Grand Review.

The Grand Review May 23-24, 1865
“The next day was Sherman's turn. Beginning its final march at 9 A.M. on another beautiful day, his 65,000-man army passed in review for six hours, with less precision, certainly, than Meade's forces, but with a bravado that thrilled the crowd. Along with the lean, tattered, and sunburnt troops was the huge entourage that had followed Sherman's on his march to the sea: medical workers, laborers, black families who fled from slavery, the famous "bummers" who scavenged for the army's supplies, and a menagerie of livestock gleaned from the Carolina and Georgia farms. Riding in front of his conquering force, Sherman later called the experience "the happiest and most satisfactory moment of my life."

For the thousands of soldiers participating in both days of the parade, it was one of their final military duties. Within a week of the Grand Review, the Union's two main armies were both disbanded. “
Source: The Civil War Society's "Encyclopedia of the Civil War"

General William Tecumseh Sherman
The evening of May 23, 1865, General William Tecumseh Sherman crossed the Potomac River to talk to his army. The men were camped there waiting for the next day when they would march down Pennsylvania Avenue in the Grand Review. General Sherman asked the men to make sure they were clean and well groomed, and boots polished as best they could, and be ready to march with pride, because they were the rough and tough army of the west, not the spit and polish army of General George Meade. He asked them to look forward all the way with heads held high.

His orders were, “Look neither left nor right, but straight ahead.” As the army marched, General Sherman, known affectionately by his men as “Uncle Billy”, could not help disobeying his own orders as he turned in his saddle and looked back at “his boys” with pride. He knew that this was the last time he would command this brave army of men and he was filled with great emotion as he thought of the march they had just completed to cause this wonderful day to happen.

Somewhere in that 65,000 strong army was 19 year old Eugene Casey, one of the “Whipcracker Corp”. Can you tell? I am so proud to be his 2nd great granddaughter. Patj

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