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The Muster


Suggested by the Two Days' Review at Washington

(May, 1865.)


The Abrahamic river--
  Patriarch of floods,
Calls the roll of all his streams
  And watery mutitudes:
      Torrent cries to torrent,
        The rapids hail the fall;
      With shouts the inland freshets
        Gather to the call.

The quotas of the Nation, Like the water-shed of waves, Muster into union-- Eastern warriors, Western braves.

Martial strains are mingling, Though distant far the bands, And the wheeling of the squadrons Is like surf upon the sands.

The bladed guns are gleaming-- Drift in lengthened trim, Files on files for hazy miles-- Nebulously dim.

O Milky Way of armies-- Star rising after star, New banners of the Commonwealths, And eagles of the War.

The Abrahamic river To sea-wide fullness fed, Pouring from the thaw-lands By the God of floods is led: His deep enforcing current The streams of ocean own, And Europe's marge is evened By rills from Kansas lone.


According to a report of the Secretary of War, there were on the first day of March, 1865, 965,000 men on the army pay-rolls. Of these, some 200,000--artillery, cavalry, and infantry--made up from the larger portion of the veterans of Grant and Sherman, marched by the President. The total number of Union troops enlisted during the war was 2,668,000.


Herman Melville