The Way It Was

Ulysses Grant died on 7/23/1985. a funeral procession was held in New York City.  Here is an excerpt from Ron Chernow’s book, Grant.

Nobody doubted that William Tecumseh Sherman and Philip H. Sheridan would serve as honorary pallbearers, but Julia Grant knew her husband would have wanted two Confederate generals to balance their northern counterparts, so Joseph Johnston and Simon Buckner represented the South. Predictably, northern military units predominated, but the presence of Confederate soldiers touched onlookers. “It was quite a sight to see the Stonewall Brigade [march] up Fifth Avenue with their drums marked Staunton, Va,” one said. “They wore the grey, with a black and brass helmet. There were several companies of Virginia and Southern troops.” Contingents of black veterans were liberally represented among the sixty thousand soldiers, supplemented by eighteen thousand veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic. Rabbi E. B. M. Brown acted as an honorary pallbearer, a reminder of how thoroughly Grant had atoned for his wartime action against the Jews. At Grant’s death, Philadelphia’s Jewish Record observed, “None will mourn his loss more sincerely than Hebrew, and… in every Jewish synagogue and temple in the land the sad event will be solemnly commemorated with fitting eulogy in prayer.”

Apparently the people of the United States in 1885 were willing to put aside their differences for the good of the nation.

In 2020, not so much.

Copyright 2020 Archer Crosley All Rights Reserved

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