Headquarters 56th Mass. Vols.,
Near Alexandria, Va., May 25.
Dear Hannah, — We had our big review day before yesterday, and everything passed off splendidly. We started from camp on Monday morning at 6 o’clock, and marched over Long Bridge to Washington. I met William George, Uncle William and Mr. Andrews in W. and again in the evening, when they came to my camp. We marched beyond the Capitol about a mile, and bivouacked there for the night. Saw Harry Townsend here. In the morning we started about ten o’clock and marched by the Capitol and up Pennsylvania Avenue. The scene when marching up to the Capitol was splendid. It really seemed as if the statue of the Goddess of Liberty were alive and looking down on us with triumph and pleasure. The Avenue was crowded with ladies and gentlemen, and with the long column of troops looked splendidly. Where the reviewing officer was stationed there were thousands of people, and it almost bewildered me to see so many faces gazing on the show. We marched down to Long Bridge, where I left my regiment, and came back to see the rest of the troops. Our corps looked better than any other as far as I could see, and every one that I met told me the same thing. The 56th were in first-rate trim, and I flatter myself looked as well as any of the regiments about there. I came back to camp late in the evening, and found William George and Mr. Andrews bunked in in Colonel Jarves’s and my tents. They went off yesterday morning, and had quite a pleasant time I imagine.
I expect to have a dinner this afternoon for several of my class, and for any visitors that may come along. I expect the governor may be here.
Bill Perkins has been camped near here, but has now moved across the river.
Had a dinner party last night. John Hayden, Charlie Whittier, Lawrie Motley, Walter Thornton, Charlie Horton and Charlie Amory were present. We had a jolly time, and enjoyed ourselves very much indeed.
I am appointed on a board to examine officers below the rank of colonel, who desire to remain in the service. From what General Griffin, our division commander, told me, I imagine that I shall have very little trouble in remaining in the service myself, if I desire to do so.
We are having a heavy rain-storm to-day. . . .