The Grand Review of the Armies took place on May 23rd and 24th. Sherman led the 65,000 men of the Army of the Tennessee and the Army of Georgia in a six-hour parade. The second day is always described by contrasting the military precision of Meade's army with the roughness of Sherman's, which was trailed by a crowd of people who had accompanied the army up from Savannah. Wikipedia adds this, "At the very end was a vast herd of cattle and other livestock that had been taken from Carolina farms."
I'll try to sum up Billy and John's post-war lives next month. For now, I'm marking their participation in the Grand Review with this block, Washington Pavement.
Eli's regiment was still in the field. He wrote to Calvin from camp near Montgomery, Alabama on May 10th:
I seat myself this afternoon noon to scratch you a few lines in answer to your kind and welcome letter of Apr 10th which came to hand a few days ago, it found me enjoying very good health, I have put off answering you two or three days longer than I should if there had not been so much talk of our leaving very soon, but I do not see as there is any greater prospect of our leaving now than there was the next day after we came here."
After Eli tells Calvin about the peaches and blackberries already ripening, he comments, "....well Cal it is amusing the way that the two contending parties come together nowadays paroled rebs are continually coming into our lines here on their way home and they will set down and talk with us an hour at a time it just seems like we had been fighting in the same cause but belonged to [different] regiments or Commands. They have all got enough. I have heard a large number say that if they had to go out again they would fight under the old stars and stripes, they also say that they hope that the north will hang all of the leaders."
Calvin has not received all of Eli's letters, and this one took two weeks to arrive in Indiana. It seems Eli has received a promotion from Private because this is the signature on this letter:
Corp Eli W. Hause, Co. "K," 52nd Ind. Vet Vol, 3d Brig, 2nd Div, 16th A.C
In the circle around the internal "E.W. Hause to Cal. Wilder" Eli has written, "how to you like this envelope eh it is a reb" Previous envelopes have been off-white or yellow. The postmark is the 24th.
(the notations in pencil at the upper edge were made by my father in the 1970's and relate to the stamp.)