The 36th Ohio In Washington City

Transcribed by Larry Stevens

At 7 A.M., September 6th, 1862, the regiment left Arlington, marched through Jordansville, across the old aqueduct, through Georgetown, and up Pennsylvania Avenue to front of the White House, there halted and stacked arms.
The regiment had marched up the avenue with that swinging, springy, steady stride, acquired only by thorough drill and much marching. Through dust and heat the boys marched, well in line, at rout-step, attracting marked attention from many army and government officials, as also a multitude of citizens. By the time guns were stacked, quite a gathering had assembled. Upon command, "Break ranks," the boys instantly scattered and vanished. Governors Dennison, of Ohio, and Pierpont, of West Virginia, were calling at the White House. Learning that an Ohio regiment had halted on the avenue in front, accompanied by President Lincoln, the Governor started to view the regiment. Colonel Crook, advised of their coming, had the bugles sound the "assembly."
As if by magic, the men came hurrying from every direction. Two were followed by a policeman, one of the twain carrying a watermelon. The fleet footed boys reached their gun stacks before the "cops" could lay hands on them. In an instant, the melon was dropped and broken into fragments, to which the boys, without comment, pointed. In a trice those pieces of melon were cleaned up and the rinds thrown away, arms taken and the proper honors extended the distinguished visitors. Mr. Lincoln witnessed the episode. Standing, leaning his shoulders against the iron palings, he laughed heartily. Colonel George Crook was promoted to a Brigadier-General, Clark to Colonel. Significant, or not, their commissions dated from that date.

From: Ohio at Antietam. Report of the Ohio Antietam Battlefield Commission. By D.Cunningham and W. Miller. 1904.

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Last updated November 21 1998