It was beautiful to see the American soldiers marching past. All similarly clean shaven, their strange police cap, pointed and embossed, the enormous bulk of the coat, the knapsack, their cartridge pouches, helmet loaded on the back, officers similar to the men and all whistling in ragtime, singing wonderful marching songs, with stressed rhythms, always conjuring up the legendary figure of John Brown (see in Wikipedia). It was beautiful to see them perform the complicated changing of the guard ceremony that all the soldiers took a part in and was executed with admirable and mechanical precision. And the military music and the drum majors balancing their big batons and prodigious instruments of copper and nickel completely encircling the body of the musician! Soldiers of impeccable discipline, that nothing ever altered, but with a charming friendliness, soldiers from a democracy, they knew their rights and obligations as volunteers, having come of their own free will, consenting to all the rigours, because their duty to their country and their ideals demanded it.