The handshake uniting these Civil War veterans symbolizes the union of the Caucasian and African American races. The war is close to an end. The purpose of this war, the abolition of slavery, is close to being completed. These two mutilated, war-weary Northerners now share a bond created through years of physical and mental deterioration; a connection that makes them equal beings. The cartoon depicts two men standing together on one foot, shaking hands, looking at each other; they stand together for the achievement of human equality.