Since early morning, Union and Confederate soldiers had been up practicing combat drills with rifle and cannon alike. As the battle crept closer, they also set about checking that their weapons and equipment were in full working order.
A good commander has a feel for battle, so when he called the units to form up for inspection, the troops knew the battle was close at hand. During inspection, the commanders talked to each soldier, calmly looking each one in the eye. Afterwards, new soldiers to each unit were identified by marking their faces with black powder, while their comrades were admonished to "take damn good care of them."