. . . There was a very fine matinee at the Navy Yard given by some musical members of the 12th New York. They sang well, the band played well, and the President listened well. After the programme the President begged for the Marseillaise. The prime gentleman gave the first verse and then generously repeated it, interpolating nonchalantly “Liberty or Death” in place of “Abreuve nos sillons” which he had forgotten.
Then we went down to the Pensacola and observed the shooting of the great Dahlgren gun Plymouth. . . . The President was delighted. . . .
SOURCE: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 32