A Presidential Greeting

Having finally arrived in our nation’s capital at about 4 a.m. on Friday, August 29, the men were back in formation by 11 a.m. to march down Pennsylvania Avenue for review by President Lincoln and other dignitaries. Corporal Crittenden of the Fourteenth described the encounter with the president (from Charles Page’s History of the 14th Regiment:

“As we passed through Washington, I recall the reviewing stand where President Lincoln, General (Winfield) Scott, Secretary Stanton and other dignitaries stood while we passed in review. Our staff-officers and captains entered the re­viewing stand and were in turn introduced to the President and his staff of officials. When the head of B Company, the left of the regiment, reached the stand, President Lincoln was so busy we felt we were not to be noticed, so with one accord, we struck up loudly singing ”We are coming, Father Abraham, three hundred thousand more.” At once he faced us, straightened up his tall form, doffed his high silk hat and bowed and bowed until we were by. President Lincoln said of our regiment that we were the finest looking body of men that had passed through Washington. As we had the honor of being the first regiment of the second call for three hundred thousand men to pass through Washington, it is easy to conclude this was his mental reservation which made his statement a fact.”

After the review, the regiment marched past the capitol building, then down toward the Potomac and the enemy soil of Virginia.


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