Grand reviews of all cavalry and infantry units were an important culmination of the “Valley Forge” period. It provided one final opportunity for the commander-in-chief and his principal army to see one another. The reviews were “practice battles” in which the mass of the army could be marshaled, moved and maneuvered.
At the individual level, these reviews left lasting, lifetime impressions on the participants. Together with Lincoln’s visibility in hospitals and camps, they had great significance.