May 30, 1865

Tuesday May 30, 1865   5 miles north of Washington D C   Weather clear and pleasant   I concluded to visit the City again and as no passes were granted   had some little difficulty in flanking the guards but succeeded well  walked around the city visiting the Treasury Deptmt post office & C in A M  and P M went to the White House   was in three rooms   then to the Smithsonian institute   this is an institution well worth any man or womans time to visit it   the upper story or picture gallery not being fire proof was burned not long since   2 lower stories were not injured  stuffed birds and animals of all kinds and sizes, coral, mummies, and many other curiosities are here  we had some bannanas pine apples ice cream in fact all that was good for men of our Complexion


May 29, 1865

Monday May 29, 1865   5 miles north of Washington D C   Weather cool and pleasant   as I was not well I did not get up to roll call but lay abed till after sunrise some time  and then eat a very light breakfast  but I feel better this P M   bought a morning paper  no very particular news   all appear to be in favor of hanging Jeff Davis  I sent for the N Y Herald to be sent to Dayton Iowa] to my address  price two Dollars   sent a note to Amanda [Carr] requesting her to get the papers and preserve them for me as I wish to get the proceeding of the trials now pending in the U S. Supreme court   rumors are afloat that we start in a few days for Louisville, Ky via Baltimore & Cincinnatia   I suppose we get no pay and I think it best we should not

May 28, 1865

Sunday May 28, 1865   5 miles north of Washington D C   Lay in camp  weather clear and pleasant  as the prospect is good for fair weather we policed camp and set our chebangs in regular order  I am considerable under the weather something appears to be the matter with my digestive organs and has been for some time   I wrote a letter to Amanda [Carr] got a morning chronicle in which an official statement of the surrender of Kirby Smith in the trans Mississippi deptmt   this I suppose ends the fighting for the present in the U S   got orders to have regular roll calls so after this I suppose we will have to rise a little earlier in the mornings   that wont suit us   these are famous mornings for napping


May 27, 1865

Saturday, May 27, 1865  5 miles north of Washington D C  Rained all night and looks very little like clearing off   as yet we have not policed our camp yet on account of the rain  we are all laying around our chebangs   sadly in want of something amusing or instructive with which to while away the long hours   I wrote to David [Taylor] with note enclosed to Maggie [Taylor]  I bought four daily papers and passed the time mostly in reading   no especial news from Kirby Smith [1]  he still continues to fight   it has cleared off this evening and now looks like we might have some more fair weather  orders came to muster out all those whose term of service expires before the first of Oct next  then an order to muster out all the recruits enlisted in 1862

[1] Probably General Edmund Kirby Smith, Confederate States Army,

May 26, 1865

Friday, May 26, 1865   5 miles north of Washington D C   Waked this morning and found it raining   had calculated to visit the city and concluded not to let the rain interfere with my arrangements   so [Stephen] Leighton [Perry] Vanwinkle and myself procured a pass   walked about three miles to the edge of town   took the street cars to the Capitol   then we walked to 459 C st  the commutation office where after a couple of hours of hard crowding I got my commutation money  then we walked to the capitol and looked around til noon then to an eating house  paid 75 cts each for dinner  then took the street cars for patent office  looked around the institution till 3 P M   then to the treasury deptmt but were too late to gain admittance   then visited presidents mansion and grounds and then Equestrian Statue of Andrew Jackson  then took some cheese pie and cake for supper  washed down with sarsaparilla and each a glass brandy  then off for camp  rain all day

May 25, 1865

While camped near Washington, D. C., Isaac set out every day to visit places new to him.  The soldiers needed a pass to leave camp.  Once Isaac stated that he did not have a pass, but that did not deter him.  He managed to get past the guards.  Isaac’s desire to take advantage of every moment, experience new things, and visit different locations would continue his entire life.

Thursday, May 25, 1865   five miles north of Washington D C   Reveillee after daylight   morning looked like rain   Our chebang done some washing  cleared off about noon   P M  warm and pleasant   we are camped about four miles from Washington City in a pleasant shady wood   P M I went out to Tennile town [Tenleytown – a neighborhood in Washington, D. C.] [1] about a mile west of our camp   Several of our boys were there  drunk on lager beer   I nearly run over a lady  apologized and made all right   then went to see a dance about a mile south of camp   a school had come out to have a picknick and after eating they adjourned to a stone mill and in the upper story they with three black fidlers enjoyed themselves the old way   I staid to see them dance one cotillion   I think our Iowa girls could beat them dancing


May 24, 1865

Grand Review of the Armies, May 1865, by Matthew Brady - Just photo

Grand Review in Washington, D. C. – Photo by Matthew Brady

Isaac’s regiment camped at the Potomac River near Washington, D. C.  The companies and regiments were organizing to participate in The Grand Review of the Armies.  This was a military celebration in Washington D. C. held on May 23 and 24, 1865, after the close of the Civil War.  “Elements of the Union Army paraded through the streets of the capital to receive accolades from the crowds and reviewing politicians, officials and prominent citizens, including the President of the United States, Andrew Johnson.”[1]  Isaac’s account of his experience in The Grand Review follows.

Wednesday, May 24, 1865   had grand review in Washington   Reveillee before daylight   had breakfast by sunrise   last night was cold   the wind blew cool and to day bids fair to be a cool comfortable day   marched to the Potomac and crossed the Long bridge about eight oclock   from there we marched around to Maryland Avenue   at the foot of Capitol Hill  Starting from there at nine A M passing around the Capitol to Pennsylvania Avenue  thence up the Avenue  to aqueduct bridge and across to our camp ground  So ends our grand review in Washington City   all passed off with the greatest satisfaction to all parties   the Citizens made a very patriotic display and evinced their patriotism by cheers clapping hands and many appropriate mottoes to the western troops  flags and wreaths of flowers were evry where profusely displayed

[1]  The Grand Review of the Armies was a military procession and celebration in Washington, D. C.

All rights reserved. The journal entries contained in this blog are part of the I. N. Carr Papers, Ms132, Special Collections, State Historical Society of Iowa, 402 Iowa Avenue, Iowa City, Iowa, 52240-1806, (319) 335-3916. They may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the State Historical Society of Iowa. Please see the “Conditions for Reproduction” on the copyright page for guidance before using the material contained on this site. Information in these posts is taken from Isaac's journals and speeches written between 1861 and 1923. If you had ancestors who lived in Washington County, Iowa, they might be mentioned in Isaac's diary. Try searching for them in the search box, below. Use spelling variations in your search as names were often spelled differently.