I am presently reading the diary entries of a young Union soldier during the Civil War by the name of George Sargent (For Our Beloved Country: American War Diaries, 1994). Late in the war, during April, as they were stationed near Washington D.C., the troops were notified that they would be reviewed by the President. And here is what he wrote:
The force was between fifteen and twenty thousand strong, making a grand show, a sight not to be seen outside of the army. We were put into the place assigned us, waited an hour or two, heard music in the distance, and presently he came galloping along followed by two or three hundred officers of all rank. We struck up “Hail to the Chief,” playing until the next band on our left commenced then. I must say he is the most awkward looking figure on horseback I ever saw, long legs, dangling down most to the ground, his body bent forward, looking as though he was about to pitch headlong, and an old stovepipe hat many years behind the fashion. … As we stood in front of him, I could not help but notice how pale, haggard, and careworn he looked, as though there was a heap of trouble on the old man’s mind.