It was a very different scene through which their rivals marched into lasting fame with all the pride, pomp, and circumstance of war. On the twenty-third and twenty-fourth of May, in perfect weather, and in the stirring presence of a loyal, vast, enthusiastic throng, the Union armies were reviewed in Washington. For over six full hours each day the troops marched past--the very flower of those who had come back victorious. The route was flagged from end to end with Stars and Stripes, and banked with friends of each and every regiment there. Between these banks, and to the sound of thrilling martial music, the long blue column flowed--a living stream of men whose bayonets made its surface flash like burnished silver under the glorious sun.
Then, when the pageantry was finished, and the volunteers that formed the vast bulk of those magnificent Federal armies had again become American civilians in thought and word and deed, these steadfast men, whose arms had saved the Union in the field, were first in peace as they had been in war: first in the reconstruction of their country's interrupted life, first in recognizing all that was best in the splendid fighters with whom they had crossed swords, and first--incomparably first--in keeping one and indivisible the reunited home land of both North and South.
Thousands of books have been written about the Civil War; and more about the armies than about the navies and the civil interests together. Yet, even about the armies, there are very few that give a just idea of how every part of the war was correlated with every other part and with the very complex whole; while fewer still give any idea of how closely the navies were correlated with the armies throughout the long amphibious campaigns.
The only works mentioned here are either those containing the original evidence or those written by experts directly from the original evidence. And of course there are a good many works belonging to both these classes for which no room can be found in a bibliography so very brief as the present one must be.
"The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies", 128 vols. (1880-1901), and "Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion", 28 vols. (1894-), form two magnificent collections of original evidence published by the United States Government. But they have some gaps which nothing else can fill. "Battles and Leaders of the Civil War"(1887-89), written by competent witnesses on both sides, gives the gist of the story in four volumes (published afterwards in eight). "The Rebellion Record", 12 vols. (1862-68), edited by Frank Moore, forms an interesting collection of non-official documents. "The Story of the Civil War", 4 vols. (1895-1913), begun by J.C. Ropes, and continued by W.R. Livermore, is an historical work of real value. "Larned's Literature of American History" contains an excellent bibliography; but it needs supplementing by bibliographies of the present century. Inquiring readers should consult the bibliographies in volumes 20 and 21 (by J.K. Hosmer) in the American Nation series.
There are many works of a more special kind that deserve particular attention. General E.P. Alexander's "Military Memoirs of a Confederate" (1907), the "Transactions of the Military Historical Society of Massachusetts", Major John Bigelow's "The Campaign of Chancellorsville" (1910), and J.D. Cox's "Military Reminiscences", 2 vols. (1900), are admirable specimens of this very extensive class.
The two greatest generals on the Northern side have written their own memoirs, and written them exceedingly well: "Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant", 2 vols. (1885-86), and "Memoirs of General W.T. Sherman", 2 vols. (1886). But the two greatest on the Southern side wrote nothing themselves; and no one else has written a really great life of that very great commander, Robert Lee. Fitzhugh Lee's enthusiastic sketch of his uncle, "General Lee" (1894), is one of the several second-rate books on the subject. Colonel G.F.R. Henderson's "Stonewall Jackson and the American Civil War", 2 vols. (1898), is, on the other hand, among the best of war biographies. Henderson's strategical study of the Valley Campaign is a masterpiece. Two good works of very different kinds are: "A History of the Civil War in the United States" (1905), by W. Birkbeck Wood and Major J.E. Edmonds, and "A History of the United States f from the Compromise of 1850", 8 vols. (1893-1919), by James Ford Rhodes. The first is military, the second political. Mr. Rhodes has also written a single volume "History of the Civil War" (1917). "American Campaigns" by Major M.F. Steele, issued under the supervision of the War Department (1909), deals chiefly with the military operations of the Civil War.
The naval side of this, as of all other wars, has been far too much neglected. But that great historian of sea-power, Admiral Mahan, has told the best of the story in his "Admiral Farragut" (1892).