Abraham Lincoln died from his wounds at 7:22 P.M. on Saturday, April 15, 1865. Teenager Henry B. Stanton, who had frequently visited the President with his father, made his way to the Petersen House before the body of Abraham Lincoln was removed to the Executive Mansion. "I stood very close to those steps until finally there came out that little band of mourners and gently placed the body of the murdered President in the hearse." There were few other people around so Stanton was able to follow the hearse. "At the east gate of the White House, there were soldiers and no one was admitted to the grounds. I had gone a little ahead and stood on the pavement close to the gate. This absence of a great crowd on such an occasion was not due to any want of interest or sympathy, but was rather caused, as it seemed to me, by the terrible shock that had passed over the city, and because every one was so depressed that few had the desire to rush forward to form or join a crowd."1
"Instantly flags were raised at half-mast all over the city, the bells tolled solemnly, and with incredible swiftness Washington went into deep, universal mourning," wrote journalist Noah Brooks. "All shops, government departments, and private offices were closed, and everywhere, on the most pretentious residences and on the humblest hovels, were the black badges of grief. Nature seemed to sympathize in the general lamentation, and tears of rain fell from the moist and somber sky. The wind sighed mournfully through the streets crowded with sad-faced people, and broad folds of funeral drapery flapped heavily in the wind over the decorations of the day before. Wandering aimless up F street toward Ford's Theatre, we met a tragical procession. It was headed by a group of army officers walking bareheaded, and behind them carried tenderly by a company of soldiers was the bier of the dead President, covered with the flag of the Union, and accompanied by an escort of soldiers who had been on duty at the house where Lincoln died. As the little cortege passed down the street to the White House, every head was uncovered, and the profound silence which prevailed was broken only by sobs and by the sound of the measured tread of those who bore the martyred President back to the home which he had so lately quitted full of life, hope, and cheer."2
As young Stanton stood by the gate, he observed an elderly black woman still wearing "her large blue-and-white kitchen apron...come running across the street. She passed in front of the hearse and had no difficulty in taking her place beside me within two feet of where it would pass." As the carriage passed by she "gathered her big apron over her face and sobbed aloud. Then there seemed to come to her soul a great light and a great courage. She dropped her apron and said in a firm though broken voice: 'They needn't to crow yet. God ain't dead!"3
On the same mourning New York City Mayor C. Godfrey Gunther notified New Yorkers: "The death of the President may well excite your profound grief and amazement. I respectfully recommend that business be suspended, and that a public mourning for the departed Chief Magistrate be observed throughout the city."4 In downtown New York, General James A. Garfield gave a speech: "Fellow-citizens: Clouds and darkness are around about Him! His pavilion is dark waters and thick clouds of the skies! Justice and judgment are the establishment of His throne! Mercy and truth shall go before His face! Fellow citizens: God reigns and the Government at Washington still lives!" A myth was created that Saturday that future President Garfield had helped still the passions of a mob and saved the New York World from destruction. According to James M. Perry, "It became a part of Garfield's legend - the day he stilled the mob and saved New York City - and it is shamelessly untrue. Garfield was in New York that day; he did give one or more speeches asking for forbearance, but he never stilled a mob at the Exchange Building...It was a good story, and typically, he never said anything to clear it up."5
Preparation for President Lincoln's funeral on April 19 took four days. Journalist Noah Brooks described the transformation of the White House for the ceremony: "The great East room was draped with crape and black cloth, relieved only here and there by white flowers and green leaves. The catafalque upon which the casket lay was about fifteen feet high, and consisted of an elevated platform resting on a dais and covered with a domed canopy of black cloth which was supported by four pillars, and was lined beneath with fluted white silk. In those days the custom of sending 'floral tributes' on funeral occasions was not common, but the funeral of Lincoln was remarkable for the unusual abundance and beauty of the devices in flowers that were sent by individuals and public bodies. From the time the body had been made ready for burial until the last services in the house, it was watched night and day by a guard of honor, the members of which were one major-general, one brigadier-general, two field officers, and four line officers of the army and four of the navy. Before the public were admitted to view the face of the dead, the scene in the darkened room - a sort of chapelle ardente - was most impressive. At the head and foot and on each side of the casket of their dead chief stood the motionless figures of his armed warriors."6
Although the weather was overcast, inside the East Room with its covered windows, the light was as dark as the mood. Brooks wrote: "When the funeral exercises took place, the floor of the East Room had been transformed into something like an amphitheatre by the erection of an inclined platform, broken into steps, and filling all but the entrance side of the apartment and the area about the catafalque. This platform was covered with black cloth, and upon it stood the various persons designated as participants in the ceremonies, no seats being provided..."7
New York attorney George Temple Strong was a tough critic of people and processions. The prominent member of the U.S. Sanitary Commission wrote in his diary on the night of the funeral: "The appearance of the assemblage was most distinguished. Most of those present were men of visible force and mark, with whom the bedizened diplomats contrasted unfavorably. The latter looked like gorgeously liveried flunkies. Of the religious service, the less that is said the better, for it was vile and vulgar; Bishop Simpson's whining, oratorical prayer. When this was finished, the coffin was lifted and the assemblage followed it silently, reverently, and in perfect order. All that was perfectly and admirably managed and executed, and it was all most solemn and decorous, save and except the spoken words. So ended the most memorably ceremonial this continent has ever seen."8
Another New Yorker was more straightforward in his observations: "On the morning of Wednesday, April 19, the funeral services were held at the White House. About six hundred persons were admitted to the room, where the body lay as heretofore described, the head resting towards the north. From the entrance door at the northwest end of the room were placed the pall-bearers; next, the representatives of the Army; then the Judiciary; at the corner, the Assistant Secretaries of the Departments. First, on the eastern line, the Governors of the States; next, the Diplomatic Corps; then, the ladies of the Cabinet Ministers; next, the Judges of the Supreme Court; next, in the centre, and in front of the catafalque, stood the new President, Andrew Johnson, and behind him the Cabinet Ministers. The members of the Senate joined their left, the House came next, while the remainder of the space was occupied by various other delegations. In the centre were seated officiating clergy, and the mourners, consisting of the late President's two sons, his private Secretaries, and the members of his household."9 There were only seven women in the assemblage - including Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase's pregnant daughter Kate Sprague.
It was an exhausting and memorable day. Francis Durbin Blakeslee worked as a clerk in the War Department. He stood in line at the White House on Monday and on Tuesday dressed in his army uniform with his War Department colleagues. He wrote in his diary: "At 8 o'clock we all repaired to the office where we put on our uniforms and equipment, and from that time till half past two had to stand in the sun. We then fell in with the funeral procession, and marched up around the Capitol and back. We were just as near dead when we got back as could be."10 Describing the funeral procession, Union officer William Gamble wrote: "It seemed as if a million of people had assembled and that Washington was a living mass of human beings of all kinds, shades and colors. I have never dreamed of such a sight before and never expect to witness such an assembly again. It seemed as if the judgment day had taken place and all the people were congregated together, cavalry, infantry, artillery, miles in length, besides citizens without number."11
Noah Brooks wrote: "The sight of the funeral pageant will probably never be forgotten by those who saw it. Long before the services in the White House were over, the streets were blocked by crowds of people thronging to see the procession, which moved from the house precisely at two o'clock, amid the tolling of bells and the booming of minute-guns from three batteries that had been brought into the city, and from each of the many forts about Washington. The day was cloudless, and the sun shone brilliantly upon cavalry, infantry, artillery, marines, associations, and societies, with draped banners, and accompanied in their slow march by mournful dirges from numerous military bands. The Ninth and Tenth Regiments of Veterans Reserves headed the column; next came a battalion of marines in gorgeous uniforms; then the Sixteenth New York and the Eighth Illinois Cavalry Regiments; then eight pieces of United States light artillery in all the pomp and panoply peculiar to the branch of the service; next several mounted major-generals and brigadier, accompanied by their staffs; then army and naval officers on foot by the hundred, more mounted officers, and pall-bearers in carriages; then the funeral car, a large structure canopied and covered with black cloth, somewhat like the catafalque which had been erected in the White House. The casket rested on a high platform eight or ten feet above the level of the street. As it passed many shed tears, and all heads were uncovered. The car was enclosed in a hollow square formed by a guard of honor consisting of mounted non-commissioned officers of various light artillery companies from Camp Barry, among them being the First West Virginia battery, and the company of cavalry known as the President's bodyguard; then came the carriages for the family, and then the President, the Cabinet, the diplomatic corps, both houses of Congress, and others."12
Another journalist, Ben Perley Poore, wrote: "At two P.M. the funeral procession started, all of the bells in the city tolling, and minute guns firing from all the forts. Pennsylvania Avenue, from the Treasury to the Capitol, was entirely clear from curb to curb. Preceding the hearse was the military escort, over one mile long, the arms of each officer and man being draped with black. At short intervals bands discoursed dirges and drums beat muffled sounds. After the artillery came the civic procession, headed by Marshal Lamon, the Surgeon-General, and physicians who attended the President. At this point the hearse appeared, and the thousands, as it passed, uncovered their heads."
The funeral car was large. The lower base was fourteen feet long and seven feet wide, and eight feet from the ground. The upper base, upon which the coffin rested, was eleven feet long and five feet below the top of the canopy. The canopy was surmounted by a gilt eagle, covered with crape. The hearse was entirely covered with cloth, velvet, crape and alpaca. The seat was covered with cloth, and on each side was a splendid lamp. The car was fifteen feet high, and the coffin was so placed as to afford a full view to all spectators. It was drawn by six gray horses, each attended by a groom.
The pall-bearers were, on the part of the Senate, Foster, of Connecticut; Morgan, of New York; Johnson, of Maryland; Yates, of Illinois; Wade, of Ohio, and Conness, of California. On the part of the House, Davis, of Massachusetts; Coffroth, of Pennsylvania; Smith, of Kentucky; Colfax, of Indiana; Worthington, of Nevada, and Washburne, of Illinois. On the part of the army, Lieutenant-General Grant, Major-General Halleck, and Brigadier-General Nichols. On the part of the navy, Vice-Admiral Farragut, Rear Admiral Shubrick and Colonel Jacob Ziellen, of the Marine Corps. Civilians, O.H. Browning, George P. Ashmun, Thomas Corwin and Simon Cameron.
After the hearse came the family, consisting only of Robert Lincoln and his little brother and their relatives. Mrs. Lincoln did not go out. Next was President Johnson, riding in a carriage with General Augur on the right, and General Slough on the left, mounted. Following him were the Cabinet, Chief Justice Chase and the Supreme Bench, and the Diplomatic Corps, who were succeeded by Senators and Representatives. The procession then reached two miles more, and was composed of public officers, delegations from various cities and members of civic societies, together with another large display of military. Some five thousand colored men were a prominent feature toward the end.
The procession was two hours and ten minutes in passing a given point, and was about three miles long. The centre of it had reached the Capitol and was returning before the rear had left Willard's. In one single detachment were over six thousand civil employees of the Government. Arriving at the Capitol, the remains were placed in the centre of the rotunda, beneath the might dome, which had been draped in mourning inside and out. The Rev. Dr. Gurley, in the presence of hundreds, impressively pronounced the burial service."13
Black soldiers led the procession. Brooks wrote: "One noticeable feature of the procession was the appearance of the colored societies which brought up the rear, humbly, as was their wont; but just before the procession began to move, the Twenty-Second United States Colored Infantry (organized in Pennsylvania), landed from Petersburg and march up to a position on the avenue, and when the head of the column came up, played a dirge, and headed the procession to the Capitol. The coffin was taken from the funeral car and placed on a catafalque within the rotunda of the Capitol, which had been darkened and draped in mourning."14
Lincoln scholar Stanley Kimmel wrote: "About three o'clock, the first troops reached the north gate of the Capitol grounds. The entire space in front of the building and the steps to the entrance had been cleared of people and were well guarded. As the funeral carriage approached, a dirge was played by all the bands in unison while pallbearers alighted and carried the coffin to the rotunda, followed by the groups entitled to admission. A brief but impressive burial service, also read by Reverend Gurley, ended the ceremony. Baskets of flowers were then brought in and arranged around Lincoln's remains, left in charge of an Honor Guard for the night. Next morning the Guard was relieved by another detail and doors were thrown open to the public. Throughout the day a continuous stream of people, some thirty-five hundred per house, went up the steps of the eastern entrance to the rotunda where the remains lay in state. They ascended a platform surrounding the catafalque, passed to the head of the coffin and on to the west exit of the building. At dark the doors were closed and the guards for the night took up their positions. About forty thousand viewed the martyred President's body at the Capitol. Had the weather not been so damp and chilly, the number probably would have been twice as large."15
Brooks wrote: "The coffin rested in the rotunda of the Capitol from the nineteenth of April until the evening of the twentieth. During that time many thousands of people from every part of the United States paid to the dead form of the beloved President their last tearful tribute of affection, honor, and respect. The center of the building was temporarily in charge of the military, Congress not being in session, and the arrangements were admirable for the preservation of order, while all who came were allowed every reasonable facility in the carrying out of their melancholy errand. Guards marshaled the vast procession of sight-seers into a double line which separated at the foot of the coffin, passed on either side, was reunited again, and was guided out by the opposite door, which opened onto the great portico of the building on its east front."16
Union officer William Gamble wrote his wife of his experience supervising the honor guard at the Capitol: "Two generals with their staff officers were detailed every 24 hours to guard the corpse. I was detailed with another General for duty at 6 o'clock P.M. day before yesterday for 24 hours, and had charge of the body until six o'clock last evening, while it was lying in state in the rotunda of the capitol. During my time of duty 39,000 people passed through and viewed the corpse, the front of the lid being open. The coffin was covered with flowers, and a staff officer stood at the head and another at the foot to keep people from touching the coffin or the corpse, and I assure you it was difficult to prevent it. I never saw such a variety of emotions in human nature in my whole life. Some would burst into tears and sobs, others would flush up with fire and indignation and mutter curses loud and deep on the cowardly assassins and their instigators. While I was standing at the head of the coffin preventing people from touching it, one old lady over sixty years old watched me closely, and quick as thought darted down her head and kissed the President in spite of me. I could not find it in my heart to say a word to her, but let her pass on as if I did not see it. You can form no idea of the scenes I saw."
During the public viewing, Brooks went "up the winding stairs that lead to the top of the great dome of the Capitol. Looking down from that lofty point, the scene was weird and memorable. Directly beneath me lay the casket in which the dead President lay at full length, far, far below; and, like black atoms moving over a sheet of gray paper, the slow-moving mourners, seen from a perpendicular above them, crept silently in two dark lines across the pavement of the rotunda, forming an ellipse around the coffin and joining as they advanced toward the eastern portal and disappeared."17
Arrangements for the Lincoln funeral train were directed by Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton who designated General Edward D. Townsend as his point man for logistics. Townsend accompanied the train back to Springfield. Stanton appointed Ohio Governor John Brough and attorney John W. Garrett to head a "Committee of Arrangements" for the trip home. They immediately issued orders that effectively commandeered use of the railroads from Washington to Springfield for the funeral train which "will not exceed nine cars, including baggage car, and the hearse car..."18 Biographer and friend Isaac N. Arnold wrote: Non-commissioned officers of the Veteran Reserve Corps were detailed to act as a body-guard, and major generals of the army were directed to attend the train and keep watch, so that at all times during the journey the coffin should be under their special guardianship."19 By April 18, they has issued a chronology for the trip, leaving Washington on April 21 and arriving in Springfield, Illinois on May 3. They proposed "the following regulations" to Stanton:
1. That the time of the departure and arrival be observed as closely as possible.
2. That material detentions at way points be guarded against as much as practicable, so as not to increase the speed of trains.
3. That a pilot engine be kept ten minutes in advance of the train.
4. That the special train, in all cases, have the right of road, and that all other trains be kept out of its way.
5. That the several railroad companies provide a sufficient number of coaches for the comfortable accommodation of the escort, and a special car for the remains; and that all these, together with the engines, be appropriately draped in mourning.
6. That where the running time of any train extends beyond or commences at midnight, not less than two sleeping-cars be added, and a greater number if the road can command them, sufficient for the accommodation of the escort.
7. That two officers of the United States Military Railway Service be detailed by you, and despatched at once over the route to confer with the several railway officers, and make all necessary preparations for carrying out these arrangements promptly and satisfactorily."20
"Non-commissioned officers of the Veteran Reserve Corps were detailed to act as a body-guard, and major generals of the army were directed to attend the train and keep watch, so that at all times during the journey the coffin should be under their special guardianship," wrote Lincoln biographer Isaac N. Arnold."21 Lincoln chronicler Frank W. Z. Barrett wrote: "The train of eight coaches, six for the mourners, one for the guard of honor, and one- the funeral car - draped within and without, sped at last on its way from Washington to Baltimore, its first stopping-place."22 Another chronicler of the funeral, J. C. Power, wrote: "The hearse car was one that had been built in Alexandria, Va, for the United States military railroads, and was intended for the use of President Lincoln and other officers of the Government when traveling over those roads. It contained a parlor, sitting room and sleeping apartment, all of which was fitted up in the most approved modern style. The car intended for the family of the President and the Congressional Committee, belonged to the Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore railroad company, ordinarily used by the President and Directors of the company. It was divided into four compartments, thus: Parlor, chamber, dining room and kitchen; with water tanks and gasometer. The whole car was fitted up in the most elegant and costly manner. Both of these cars were richly draped in mourning."23
"At six o'clock on the morning of April 21, the members of the Cabinet, Lieutenant General Grant and his staff, several United States Senators, the Illinois delegation, and a considerable number of army officers, arrived at the Capitol and took their farewell view of the face of the departed statesman," wrote J. C. Power, who served for years as custodian of the Lincoln tomb in Springfield. "After an impressive prayer by the Rev. Dr. Gurley, the coffin was borne, without music, to the hearse car, to which the body of his son Willie had previously been removed. Another prayer and the benediction followed."24
"At eight o'clock, the Funeral Cortege of Abraham Lincoln moved slowly from the depot, for its long and circuitous journey to the western prairies. Several thousand soldiers were in line by the side of the railroad, and presented arms as the train departed amid the tolling of bells and the uncovered heads of the immense assemblage," wrote Power. "A portion of the soldiers in line near the depot were two regiments of U.S. Colored Troops. They stood with arms reversed, heads bowed, all weeping like children at the loss of a father. Their grief was of such undoubted sincerity as to affect the whole vast multitude. Dignified Governors of States, grave Senators, and scar-worn army officers, who had passed through scenes of blood and carnage unmoved, lost their self control and were melted to tears in the presence of such unaffected sorrow."25
The Lincoln funeral train embarked on a trip that took 1700 miles and involved an estimated 30 million mourners. Power wrote: "Baltimore was then under the control of loyal men, who felt deeply grieved that a plot had been laid there for his destruction when on his way to assume the duties of his office; and they suffered still greater mortification that it was a native of their own city who had plunged the nation into mourning by the horrid crime of assassinating the President. The city added ten thousand dollars to the reward offered for the arrest of the assassin. Those who accompanied the escort the entire journal say that there was no other place where the manifestations of grief were apparently so sincere and unaffected as in the city of Baltimore, although they admit it was hard to make a distinction when all were intent on using every exertion to do honor to memory of the illustrious statesman."26 Biographer Isaac N. Arnold wrote: "Nowhere were the manifestations of grief more impress than at Baltimore, and especially from the negroes...convulsed with a grief they could not control, and sobs, cries, and tears told how deeply they mourned their deliverer."27
William Turner Coggeshall wrote that the heavily decorated hearse "was drawn by four black horses. Owing to the presence of large detachments of the army in the Monumental City, the military escort was exceedingly imposing. The various commands were thoroughly equipped. The entire column was under command of Brigadier General H. H. Lockwood, attended by his staff....A few moments before one o'clock, the head of the procession arrived at the southern front of the Exchange. As the head of the military escort reached Calvert street the column was halted, and the hearse, with its guard of honor, passed between the lines, the troops presenting arms, and the bands of music wailing out the plaintive tune, 'Peace, Troubled Soul.' The general officers dismounted and formed, with their staffs, on either side of the approach from the gate to the main entrance of the Exchange. The remains were then removed from the funeral car and carried slowly and reverently into the building, and placed on a catafalque prepared for them."28
The casket was available for viewing for just one and a half hours. "At about half past two o'clock, to the regret of thousands, the coffin was closed, and escorted by the guard of honor, was removed to the hearse. The procession then re-formed and took up its mournful march to the depot of the Northern Central Railway Company," wrote Coggeshall.29
The train headed north to Pennsylvania. According to Lincoln scholar Bradley R. Hoch: "At 5:30. Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin, Major General George Cadwallader, and their respective staffs boarded the train near the Pennsylvania-Maryland state line. Curtin had been ill and confined to bed for several days. He joined Governor Augustus W. Bradford of Maryland in the front car. Governor Curtin decided to ride the Funeral Train for the entire time that it was in Pennsylvania and in doing so set a precedent: all other state governors rode with the train as it passed through their states."30
There were about 20,000 mourners awaiting the train at Lancaster where a sign on the train depot read: "Abraham Lincoln, the Illustrious Martyr of Liberty; the nation mourns his loss; though dead, he still lives" Power wrote: "It was affecting to see old men who had been carried in their chairs and seated beside the track, and women with infants in their arms, assembled to look at the passing cortege." Former President James Buchanan was in town and Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, a frequent Republican critic of the President, was on a rock along the train route. An eyewitness told putter that Stevens "seemed absorbed in silent meditation, unconscious that he was observed. When the hearse car approached he reverently uncovered his head, and replaced his hat as the train moved away."31
"The funeral train arrived at eight o'clock. In despite of a severe rain storm the streets were densely thronged," wrote Coggeshall. "A large military escort, accompanied by an immense procession of the people, followed the President's remains to the State House, amid the sound of minute guns, where the corpse was exposed to the view of the public until midnight. On the following morning, the doors of the Capitol were opened at seven o'clock, and immediately a compact mass of people, in double lines, began to move through the rotunda, which had been appropriately draped. Thousands of citizens of the neighboring towns and adjoining counties swelled the procession of mourners. At nine o'clock the coffin was closed, and at ten o'clock the procession was reformed and began its march of escort to the depot."32 Among the dignitaries on board for the trip east to Philadelphia was Simon Cameron, former secretary of war as well as once and future senator from Pennsylvania.
The funeral train arrived in Philadelphia from Harrisburg late in the afternoon of Saturday April 22. W. Emerson Reck wrote: "Shortly after three o'clock more than an hour before the funeral train's scheduled arrival in Philadelphia, the military escort assembled at the depot and began to form in line along Broad Street. As time for the train approached, police had to use considerable exertion to keep clear the space needed for the passage of pallbearers from the door of the depot to the hearse."33
Power wrote: "It was estimated that half a million people were on the streets. A procession, for which preparation had been making for several days, was already formed; men standing in marching order, from four to twelve abreast. A magnificent funeral car was in readiness. Which had been specially constructed for the occasion. The corpse was transferred to this car, the coffin enveloped in the American flag, and surrounded with flowers. The grand procession, composed of eleven divisions, and including every organization in the city, both military and civic, was seven miles in length. It moved through the wide and beautiful streets of the city to the sound of solemn music, by a great number of bands. The insignia of sorrow seemed to be on every house. The poor testified their grief by displaying such emblems as their limited means could command, and the rich, more profuse, not because their sorrow was greater, but because their wealth enabled them to manifest it on a larger scale. It was eight o'clock when the funeral car arrived at the southern entrance to Independence Square, on Walnut street. The Union League Association was stationed in the square, and when the procession arrived at the entrance, the Association took charge of the sacred dust, and conveyed it into Independence Hall, marching with uncovered heads to the sound of a dirge performed by a band - stationed in the observatory over the Hall - the booming of cannon in the distance, and the tolling of bells throughout the city. The body was laid on a platform in the centre of the Hall, with feet to the north, bringing the head very close to the pedestal on which the old Independence bell stands."34
Reck wrote: "An oblong platform covered with black cloth received the coffin in the center of the Hall with the head directly opposite the Liberty Bell. A flood of light provided eighteen candelabra with burning wax tapers, provided illumination. Twenty-five vases filled with japonicas, heliotropes, and other rare flowers cast a sweet perfume through the Hall which was completely shrouded by black cloth. The old chandelier, hanging immediately above the coffin, was entirely covered and hanging above it in every direction festoons of black cloth formed a sort of canopy for the whole room."35 Lincoln scholar Bradley R. Koch wrote:"In the Assembly Room where the Declaration of Independence had been signed eight-eight years earlier, Lincoln's body lay in state amidst candelabra, flowers, black mourning drapes, and wreaths. One of the cards on a wreath spoke of Lincoln's dream that he had mentioned at his last cabinet meeting one week earlier, on April 14, 1865. Lincoln interpreted his dream as an omen that great news would soon come. The card said, 'Before any great national event I have always had the same dream. I had it the other night. It is of a ship sailing rapidly.' As a symbolic gesture, Philadelphians placed the Liberty Bell at Lincoln's head so that all who passed by could read its inscription, 'Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof.'"36
Early Lincoln biographer Josiah G. Holland wrote: "From ten o'clock until midnight, the people had the opportunity to view the remains of their beloved chief magistrate. Then the doors were closed; but hundred remained around the building all night, that they might be first in the morning. The following day was Sunday, and from six o'clock in the morning until one o'clock on Monday morning, during which the remains were exposed to view, a dense, unbroken stream of men, women, and children, pressed into and out of the building."37 Power observed: "The crowd was of mourners was so great at times that the people were almost suffocated. On the afternoon of Sunday, many women fainted in the crowd. During the day, about one hundred and fifty soldiers were taken in ambulances from the different hospitals in and around the city; and at a late hour, seventy-five veterans, who had each lost a leg in their country's service, hobbled into the Hall..."38 Lincoln biographer Carl Sandburg wrote: "The line of mourners ran three miles. 'A young lady had her arm broken,' said the New York Herald, 'and a young child, involved in the crush, is said to have been killed. Many females fainted with exhaustion, and had to be carried off by their friends. Through two windows the double column entered and passed by the casket, a third of a million people. A venerable Negro woman, her face indented and majestic as a relief map of the continent of Asia, laid evergreens on the coffin and with hot tears filling the dents and furrows, cried, 'Oh, Abraham Lincoln, are you dead? are you dead?' She could not be sure."39
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported: "Never before in the history of our city was such a dense mass of humanity huddled together. Hundreds of persons were seriously injured from being pressed in the mob, and many fainting females were extricated by the police and military and conveyed to places of security."40 According to the Inquirer: Half a million of sorrow-stricken people were upon the streets to do honor to all that was left of the man whom they respected, revered and loved with an affection never before bestowed upon any other, save the Father of his Country. Universal grief was depicted on the faces of all. Hearts beat quick and fast with the throb of a sorrow which they had never experienced. Young and old alike bowed in solemn reverence before the draped chariot which bore the body of our deceased, assassinated president. The feeling was too deep for expression. The wet cheeks of the strong man, the tearful eyes of the maiden and the matron, the hush which pervaded the atmosphere and made it oppressive, the steady measured tread of the military and the civic procession, the mournful dirges of the bands, the dismal tolling of the bells and the boom of the minute guns, to more than it is possible for language to express."41 Power reported: "at two o'clock a.m., Monday, April 24, the coffin was closed, and preparations made for the departure. At four o'clock, the funeral train moved out of the Kensington depot. After leaving Philadelphia, the track was lined on both sides with a continuous array of people."42 According to Bradley R. Hoch: "As soon as the entrances closed and the public was out of the Assembly Room, the task of cleaning the immense amount of dust and dirt caused by more than 100,000 people began. Embalmer Brown cleaned Lincoln's face of the dust that had accumulated during thirty-three hours in Philadelphia."43
Although the train was scheduled to leave Philadelphia for New York at 4 A.M. on Monday, April 24, it took more than three hours to move the cortege from Independence Hall to the Kensington Station, where it was to continue its journey north.
Power wrote: "The train reached Trenton at half past five in the morning, and was greeted by the tolling of bells, firing of minute guns and strains of solemn music. Crowds of people were assembled, the number estimated at twenty thousand, and the array of mourning inscriptions and other evidences of sorrow were abundant. This is the only State capital passed by the funeral cortege on the entire journey, at which they failed to stop for the people to engage in public demonstrations of respect....Governor Joel Parker and staff, with many citizens were taken on board here, and accompanied the remains to New York. At Princeton, a large number of college students were standing with reverent bearing and in silence. At New Brunswick, the train stopped for a few moments to find an immense crowd at the depot. Minute guns were fired from the time it came in sight until it passed from their view. Large numbers were assembled at Rahway and Elizabeth City, also."44 Biographer Holland wrote: "It seemed as if the whole state had come to the railroad line, simply to witness the passage of the funeral train."45
The New York Times reported: "The last car of the train, the gorgeous and highly finished one built for President LINCOLN's use while he was alive, is detached. That immediately in front of it, its somber, almost black, paneling contrasting strongly with the strong crimson of the other, was finished expressly for its present sad purpose. The civic and military delegation who have escorted the body of the dead from Washington, gather to the door of this funeral car. All heads are uncovered, and the coffin is reverently borne forth by soldiers of the Veteran Reserves, and carried to the hearse. As it leaves the station-house the deep voices of the Germans are silent, and the various delegations, forming into line, march slowly from the building by its western exit, pass down Exchange-place towards the ferry-boat; the Washington escort first, the Mayor and Common Councils of New-York next, and the military and other civic bodies following."46
Power wrote of Jersey City: "The depot was elaborately draped in mourning, bells toiled and cannon boomed, bribing back sad echoes as the train moved into the depot. The crowd was not admitted into the vast edifice. When those on board the train disembarked and the coffin was borne along the platform, the funeral part were startled by a vast choir, composed of German musical associations, which had been stationed in a gallery of the building. As they chanted an anthem or requiem for the dead, many who were unused to weeping were affected to tears. As the remains were conveyed from the depot the boat, the choir chanted a solemn the depot to the boat, the choir chanted a solemn dirge and continued it until the ferry boat reached the opposite side of the Hudson river. The shipping of all nations in the harbor displayed their flags at half-mast."47 The New York Times reported: "Above the entrance to the ferry way appears the inscription: 'WASHINGTON, the Father; LINCOLN, the Savior of his country.' A strong line of guards keeps clear a broad and ample space for the procession. Outside their line a great and dense but serious and silent crowd is gathered. All are quickly on board the boat, and moving at once out of the slip, she crosses without delay or accident to the foot of Desbrosses-street in New York City.48
"The ferry boat landed at the foot of Desbrosses street, New York city, at ten o'clock a.m., April 24, and the coffin was at once conveyed to a magnificent hearse or funeral car, prepared especially for the occasion. The platform of this car was fourteen feet long and eight feet wide. On the platform, which was five feet from the ground, there was a dais, on which the coffin rested. This gave it sufficient elevation to be readily seen by those at a distance, over the heads of the multitude. Above the dais there was a canopy fifteen feet high, supported by columns, and in part by a miniature temple of liberty. The platform was covered with black cloth, which fell at the sides nearly to the ground. It was edged with silver bullion fringe, which hung in graceful festoons. Black cloth hung from the sides, festooned with silver stars, and was also edged with silver fringe. The canopy was trimmed in like manner, with black cloth, festooned and spangled with silver bullion, the corners surmounted by rich plumes of black and white feathers. At the base of each column were three American flags, slightly inclined outward, festooned and covered with crape."49
The funeral parade from the wharf was carefully planned with seven divisions, each led by military officers. The funeral car was in the first division. Public officials filled the second division. The Fifth division was completely dedicated to Irish-American organizations. Among the signs throughout the city were: "The Martyr President," "Lincoln, Gone but not forgotten," "We Mourn the Loss of an Honest Man," "Our Chief has fallen," and "Our Country Weeps In God we trust".50 Isaac N. Arnold noted: "Every house, from pavement to roof, all the way from the Battery to Central Park, was draped in black."51
New York City chronicler David T. Valentine wrote: "The interior of the City Hall was decorated with much taste. No trace of the architecture was to be seen in the rotunda. Niche and dome, balustrade and paneling, were all veiled. From the dome to the base there was a wall of crape, relieved by shrouded ensigns and semi-circular folds of paramatta. All these were arched by festoons, which fell gracefully over the combined display of flags and mourning. Across the dome a black curtain was drawn, and the rays of light thus conducted fell subdued upon the sad and imposing spectacle."52 Valentine wrote: "The coffin having been deposited on the catafalque, the lid was removed, and the various officials present permitted to gaze upon the remains of their deceased President. These having retired, preparations were made to admit the public generally. Visitors were admitted to the Park through the gate near the Register's office; thence, passing through the eastern basement door of the City Hall, two abreast; and thence, along the corridors, to the circular stairs in the rotunda; thence, up those stairs, turning to the right, passing in front of the catafalque; thence, down and out through the rear door of the City Hall. Those provided with tickets were admitted through the western basement door, and passed on the opposite side the catafalque."53
After the casket was arranged in City Hall, the building was opened to mourners. "The solemn procession commenced at one o'clock," wrote Coggeshall. "Thousands formed that line, which, like a river receiving many contributions nearing its debouchment, gradually lessened, till away up the Bowery, three-quarters of a mile off, it narrowed as it were at its source, still, however, receiving fresh supplies as an onward movement to the front gave a chance of nearing the object all so desired to look upon."54 It was estimated that 120,000 New Yorkers passed the President's casket; three prominent army officers stood as an honor guard for two hours per watch. David T. Valentine wrote: "During the entire time the remains thus lay in state, a ceaseless throng of visitors were admitted to view the body, while many thousands were turned away unable to obtain admittance. All classes of our citizens, the old and the young, the rich and the poor, without distinction of color or sex, mingled in the silent procession that passed reverently before the bier. As night came on the scene grew more impressive. The heavy draping of the rotunda caused the light from the chandeliers to assume a sickly glare, as it was reflected from the silver ornaments of the coffin and catafalque, on the faces of the passing crowd."55
The New York Times reported: "Hastily and reverently the people approached, and with uncovered head, bent forward to seize an impression of the honored features. To those who had not seen Mr. Lincoln in life, the view may be satisfactory; but to those who were familiar with his features, it is far otherwise. The color is leaden, almost brown; the forehead recedes sharp and clearly marked; the eyes deep sunk and close held upon the sockets; the cheek bones, always high are unusually prominent; the cheeks hollowed and deep pitted; the unnaturally thin lips shut tight and firm as if glued together; and the small chin, covered with slight beard, seemed pointed and sharp. The body is dressed in black, the white turned-over collar and the clean white gloves make a strong contrast to the black velvet cloth and leaden-hued features. This is all that remains of the man whom goodness made great and whose rest in the hearts of the people is forever and abiding, It will not be possible, despite the effection of the embalming, to continue much longer the exhibition, as the constant shaking of the body aided by the exposure to the air, and the increasing of dust, has already undone much of the...workmanship, and it is doubtful if it will be decreed wise to tempt dissolution much further."56
Valentine wrote:"The concourse, notwithstanding the immense number which had passed during the day, was at its greatest about midnight. As the clock tolled the hour of twelve, the members of the German singing societies, who had taken their places in the corridor, commenced a solemn dirge. Heard from the neighborhood of the catafalque, the sound had a most thrilling effect. The chorus consisted of about seventy voices. The clubs represented were the Quartette, of Hoboken, the German Concordia, and Harmonia."57
It was estimated that 120,000 New Yorkers passed the President's casket; three prominent army officers stood as an honor guard for two hours per watch. The viewing was closed at mid-day on April 25. "At ten minutes to one o'clock the hearse, which was specially constructed to carry the remains through the city, was brought in front of the Hall," wrote Coggeshall. "When it had been placed in its proper position Major General John A. Dix, who stood with cap in hand on the steps of the hall, gave the signal for the remains to be carried out. The coffin then appeared, borne by the guard of honor from the Veteran Reserve corps. All in the immediate vicinity instinctively uncovered. The band of the Seventh regiment played a mournful dirge, the City Hall bell tolled, the military presented arms, and, amid unbroken silence among the multitude, the mortal remains of Abraham Lincoln were borne to the hearse."58
John Wilkes Booth biographer Michael W. Kauffman wrote: "General Townsend had been involved in planning the funeral from the start, and was invested with all the authority of the secretary himself when traveling with the cortÃ¨ge. He nearly lost that responsibility when Stanton learned what he had done in New York city that day. Townsend gave photographer Jeremiah Gurney thirty minutes to photograph the president's body as it lay in City Hal. Gurney recorded two images, both of which included the entire scene, not just the remains. They showed the coffin, with Townsend himself and Admiral Charles A. Davis standing at either end with their arms crossed. Though there was nothing unusual about postmortem photographs, Stanton thought the president's family should have been consulted first. With 'surprise and disapproval,' he ordered General Townsend to seize and dispose of the plates and all proofs made from them. After seeing the first plate destroyed, Gurney appealed the decision. He was sure the Lincolns would approve, and through General Dix, he got the order suspended until they could know the family's wishes. But Robert Lincoln concurred with Stanton, and the second plate was destroyed. Somehow one proof survived, which Stanton kept in his files."59
The big event in New York was the funeral procession from City Hall to the train station from the northward journey. The New York Times reported: "Even during all the night before yesterday, preliminaries for the great general procession had been going forward at many points in the city. Before dawn, the stir increased. Almost as soon as it was light, the vast mass of our great metropolitan population began to move perceptibly toward the sadly magnificent ceremony of the day. At first, solitary soldiers, uniformed and armed, or single civilians, in decent black, were gathering to a thousand rendezvous of regiment, society, club or association, as to centers of crystallization sprinkled over the extensive city map. And while uniform and civic costume varied in their respective many ways, two universal marks, distinguishable, indeed, in almost every citizen, whether to be participant or spectator of the somber pageant - the crape band on the arm, and the countenance serious and often sad - silently witnessed that the vast city arose in oneness of heart to offer a last testimony of grief and love at the death of the liberator, the patriot, the honest man and wise ruler.60
The funeral procession was an hour late in starting for the train depot - starting at 1 P.M. Lincoln biographer Josiah G. Holland wrote: "This procession was the grandest - the most imposing ever organized in the United States. It marched in eight divisions, which embraced military and civic associations representing all the lines of martial service, and all the various walks of official and business life."61 The New York Herald commented: "The people, with tearful eyes, under the shadow of the great affliction, watched patiently and unmurmuringly the moving of the honored dead and the mournful procession, and silently breathed over them the most heartfelt and fervent prayers...Such an occasion, such a crowd, and such a day, New York may never see again."62 The New York Times reported: "Eaves, roofs, trees, posts, were edged or tip or fructified with men or women. Along the middle of each sidewalk crept in either direction a sluggish, narrow stream of passengers, like the slow snow-broth of a half-frozen stream creeping between the wide edgings of fixed ice. And between two such triple living borders, the watchful and peremptory policemen - their active efforts seconded by the desire on all to comply with the regulations of the day - easily secured an empty roadway, perfectly clear from curbstone to curbstone."63
An unsuccessful effort was made to prevent black New Yorkers from joining the procession escorting the casket from City Hall to the Hudson River Depot. A notice to black participants said: "Colored people, or their societies, who wish to join the procession to-day, can do so by forming on West Reade street by twelve o'clock, their right resting on Broadway. Societies should appoint their own Marshals to preserve order."64 But bad publicity discouraged many of the estimated five thousand who had planned to join the line of march. Police officials placed a small group of about 250 in the line of march and provided 56 policemen to proceed and follow them to assure that they would be no attack on them.
The New York Times reported: "The head of the procession had reached the railroad station at 2:10. The rear of it had not reached Fourteenth-street at 5. It must have contained full sixty thousand men. After the delivery of the remains to the charge of the railroad authorities, it was hours before the rear of the procession ceased marching."65 The funeral train proceeded directly up along the Hudson River to Albany. The railroad issued instructions to govern the route to Albany:
This train has the right of track over all other trains bound in either direction, and trains must reach stations at which they are to meet, or let special pass, at least ten minutes before special is due.
A "pilot engine" will leave New York ten minutes in advance of special train, running ten minutes ahead of published time to East Albany. Pilot engine has same rights as special, and at stations where trains meet or pass it, they must wait for special.
The train will run at a slow rate of speed through all towns and villages.
Train No. 10 will, on this day, leave Thirtieth street at 4:15 P.M.
All station masters, trackmen, drawbridge tenders, switchmen, and flagmen, will be governed by the general rules and regulations of the company.66
Biographer Holland wrote: "The train passed to Albany without stopping, except at Poughkeepsie, where a delegation from the city government of Albany was taken on board; but the people were gathered at every point to witness the passage. Mottoes were displayed, draped flags floated everywhere, and all along the route stood the silent crowds, with heads uncovered, as the train which bore the martyred President swept by."67 Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer wrote: "In Poughkeepsie, thousands packed the small hilltop depot where the train paused as Matthew Vassar, founder of the local college, carried into the car bearing the coffin a bouquet of magnolias he had cut from his own tree. It proved one of the most touching moments among the many tributes paid to the martyred Lincoln."68
Historian Michael Vorenberg wrote that while Mr. Lincoln's "casket headed by train to Albany, the opposition realized how unseemly it would be for the legislature to stand against emancipation in the presence of the murdered Great Emancipator. 'Let us refuse to...ever seem in a disloyal position or as the defenders of Slavery,' one New York editor advised. Four days before Lincoln's casket arrived, an opposition faction changed its position, and the assembly finally carried ratification."69
According to Lincoln biographer William Thayer, "Albany the scene was no less imposing. The city was shrouded with crape, and beautiful sentiments appeared here and there:
"The great heart of the nation throbs heavily at the portals of the grave."
"All joy is darkened; the mirth of the land is gone."
"And the mourners go about the streets."
"And the victory that day was turned into mourning unto all the people."
"The Martyr to Liberty."
"Though dead, he yet speaketh."
"Washington, the Father of his country; Lincoln, the Saviour of his country."
W. Emerson Reck wrote: "The procession to the Capitol at Albany was planned to be simple, so west of the Hudson it included only three companies of National Guardsmen, three companies of firemen bearing torches, State officials, members of the Legislature, and city authorities. When the hearse arrived at the Capitol the remains were taken to the Assembly Room."70 The casket was taken to the Sate Capitol where viewing began at 1:30 A.M. on April 26. Power wrote: "When the morning dawned it revealed the fact that the whole city was draped in mourning with mottoes and inscriptions tastefully displayed at appropriate points. Some of the most touching were quotations from Mr. Lincoln's own words, such as,
"The heart of the nation throbs heavily at the portals of the tomb."
"Let us resolve that the martyred dead shall not have died in vain."71
Reck wrote: "As many as seventy viewers a minute - total nearing fifty thousand - passed by the coffin between 1:30 A.M. and 2 P.M. on April 26. A mass of human beings, estimated at sixty thousand, crowded along the streets for more than a mile when the procession escorting the remains from the Capitol to the New York Central station began moving soon after two o'clock. With the escort this time were four bands playing 'Love Not,' 'Auld Lang Syne,' and 'Come and Let Us Worship.'"72 At least 4,000 New Yorkers streamed by the casket each hour. "The numbers increased, until the line of those awaiting admission was more than a mile in length, one half of them being ladies, all pressing toward the portals of the stately edifice. The cars and steamboats arriving that morning brought additional thousands to the city, many of them coming from one to two hundred miles. From the time of its arrival, the coffin was strewn with flowers of the most rare and costly varieties. As fast as they exhibited signs of fading, they were removed, and fresh ones put in their places. Solemn dirges were performed at intervals by the musical societies and bands, " reported J. C. Power.73
Lincoln scholar Victor Searcher wrote, "The multitude gathered at Schenectady stood stock still with uncovered heads as the cars slowly moved by. At Canajoharie the decorated Palatine Bridge was filled with women weeping on one another's shoulders, one fainting as the train passed. A collation (buffet-type meal) was served at St. Johnsville, sixty-four miles from Albany, the twenty-two comely young ladies acting as volunteer waitresses being privileged to file through the hearse in acknowledgment of their services."74 W. Emerson Reck wrote: "To these sounds were added the chants of one hundred voices when some thirty-five thousand witnessed passage of the train through Syracuse just midnight."75
According to the Buffalo Morning Express, "With the gray light of morning, people here were astir to prepare for the reception of the funeral train on its arrival as preliminary and unfinished arrangements were completed by the authorities for the carrying out of the program as previously arraigned. The time for the arrival of the train was 7:00 o'clock, but long before that hour, the streets in the vicinity of the depot were filled with the eager and expectant multitude. At ten minutes before seven, the pilot engine, proper decorated for the use to which it had been assigned, arrived to announce the approach of the funeral train. "76 W. Emerson Reck wrote: "Greeting the coffin's arrival was the Buffalo St. Cecelia Society singing the dirge, "Rest, Spirit, Rest.' During the morning, ladies of the Unitarian Church placed an anchor of white camellias at the foot of the coffin and a cross of white flowers on the casket. By request, the St. Cecelia Society repeated 'Rest, Spirit, Rest.'"77
Power wrote: "An impromptu procession was formed by citizens, headed by the military. The coffin was taken to a fine hearse, which was covered with black cloth, and surrounded by an arched canopy tastefully trimmed with white satin and silver lace. The coffin was elevated so as to be seen at a long distance. The procession moved along the principal streets to the sound of solemn music, and reached St. James Hall about half past nine o'clock. The body was conveyed into the Hall and deposited on a dais, in the presence of the accompanying Guard of Honor and the Union Continentals. As the remains were carried in, the Buffalo St. Cecelia Society sang, with much feeling, the dirge, 'Rest, Spirit, Rest,' after which, the Society placed an elegantly formed harp, made of choice white flowers, at the head of the coffin, which was overshadowed by a crape canopy, and the space lighted up by a large chandelier in the ceiling."78
The Buffalo Morning Express reported on the scene at St. James Hall: "The appearance of the Hall, as prepared for the occasion, was grandly impressive. It was in the form of an immense pavilion, sable and somber, but adorned in the most exquisite perfection of art. The walls of the pavilion were richly and tastefully decorated and wreathed with black and white crape, lace and fringe. Large bows of crape also decked its sides. Eight columns, elaborately draped with wreaths, rosettes and festoons, were placed in position around the inner line of the apartment."79
"At Cleveland, great preparations were made to receive the President's remains and the funeral party, with befitting honors," wrote Lincoln biographer Josiah G. Holland. "A Building for the deposit of the coffin was erected in the park, that the people might have easy access to it. The city was crowded at an early hour, on Friday morning; and on every hand were displayed the symbols of mourning."80 Lincoln biographer Carl Sandburg wrote: "At Cleveland the Committee on Location of Remains had decided no available building would accommodate the crowds, where the Committee on Arrangements had a pagoda put up in the city park, with open sides through which two columns could pass the coffin."81
"Punctually at seven o'clock the funeral train ran into the Union depot," wrote Coggeshall. "The sight as it passed down the Lake Shore track was impressive, and was witnessed by a great crowd of people on the bank. On reaching the depot, the locomotive of the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad, tastefully draped, took the train in its reversed position and drew it to the Euclid Street station, arriving there about twenty minutes after seven o'clock. As the train moved up, a national salute of thirty-six guns was fired. As the train came up the Lake Shore track a very beautiful incident took place. Miss Fields, of Wilson street, had erected an arch of ever greens on the bank of the Lake near the track, and as the train passed appeared in the arch as the Goddess of Liberty in mourning."82
Holland wrote: "Bishop McIlvaine, of the diocese of Ohio, read the Episcopal burial service on the opening of the coffin, and offered prayer; after which the long procession filed through the pavilion, and caught a last glimpse of the honored dead. All day long, through falling rain, the crowd, unabated in numbers, pressed through the little building. At ten o'clock at night, one hundred thousand people had viewed the remains; and then the gates were shut. Soon afterwards, the coffin was taken from its beautiful resting-place; and, at twelve o'clock, the funeral party was again in progress, on the way to Columbus, the capital of the state."83
At Columbus, reported Coggeshall, "At the appointed hour the funeral train entered the Union Depot, amid the ringing of muffled bells, and stopped so that the funeral car lay nearly across High street. An immense crowd of spectators was congregated in the vicinity of the depot. Bands of music, assembled with the military procession, played solemn dirges while the coffin was taken from the car and laid in the hearse by a portion of the Veteran Reserve Corps, the other Veteran Reserves marching by its side with drawn sabres, attended by the pall bearers and military guard of honor."84
Carl Sandburg wrote: "Tolling bells and falling rain at Indianapolis saw the coffin borne into the State House for a Sabbath to be remembered. From Cincinnati, Ohio, and Covington, Kentucky, had come the City Councils. From Kentucky had come her Governor Thomas E.' Bramlette and others. Pilgrims arrived from the southern counties where the boy Lincoln had learned to read and write, had walked many miles seeking books to read. Again was the inscription where all might read: 'He Sleeps in the Blessing of the Poor, Whose Fetters God Commanded Him to Break,' and another: 'To Live in Hearts We Leave Behind is Not to Die.' In all churches the sermons were on the life of the one-time Hoosier boy. A venerable veteran of forty years' Sunday-school service, Colonel James Blake, marshaled five thousand Sunday-school children for marches to the State House. One hundred and fifty persons a minute passed the coffin, an estimated total of one hundred thousand."85
"At nine o'clock the doors of the State House were thrown open, and the people, who had patiently waited for more than two hours, were permitted to view the corpse. Far down the west side of Washington Street, reaching in fact to Illinois, the sidewalk was closely packed with people, jealously holding their places, frequently through great personal discomfort," wrote Coggeshall. 86 The Indianapolis Journal reported: "The unpropitious weather prevented the funeral pageant, but an offset to the disappointment of the people in this, was the increased facility given to view the remains as they lay in state at the Capitol. Every Indianian may feel that the honor of the State has been rather brightened than compromised by their reception of the remains of President Lincoln, and that the State where he passed some years of his youth, has rendered her full quota of honor to him as the Savior of his Country."87
Journalist William H. Smith recalled: "For hours and hours there was a steady procession of men and women passing through the building to gaze for a moment on the Great Martyr. During all those hours an orchestra placed in one of the galleries and a chorus of voices in the one opposite alternated in rendering funeral dirges and anthems. It was a memorable scene, one never to be forgotten." Smith reported: "When I emerged from the building Judge Joseph E. McDonald, a Democratic leader of the State and the party candidate for governor the year previous, was standing a few paces away. As I approached him I saw his eyes filled with tears. He greeted me with the explanation: 'What a heart, what a soul! There lies the best, truest, wisest friend the South ever had in America, and they have not realized it.' He said that Mr. Lincoln was the only one who could have carried the country through the great crisis."88
Carl Sandburg wrote: "Slowly at Twelfth Street and Michigan Avenue the funeral train came to a stop. Under a huge reception arch of side arches, columns, and Gothic windows in the lake shore park near by, the eight sergeants carried the coffin and laid it on a dais. The pallbearers and guard of honor made their formation around it. Throughout brasses and drums gave a march written for the occasion, 'The Lincoln Requiem.' Thirty-six high-school girls moved forward, in snow-white gowns, crape sashes, black-velvet bands with a single star over the forehead, some with sunny ringlets dropping to their shoulders, others with neat braids down the back. Over the bier two by two they strewed immortelles and garlands of white roses."89 Power wrote: "Among the mottoes displayed were the following:
Noblest martyr to Freedom; sacred thy dust; hallowed thy resting place."With tears we resign these to God and History."
"Our guiding star has fallen; our nation mourns."90
Power wrote: "When the funeral train arrived at Park Place, a signal gun was fired, and the tolling of the bell on the Court House announced the news to the citizens, but there were already thousands and thousands of people congregated in the vicinity of the funeral arch. The vast multitude stood in profound silence, and reverently uncovered their heads as the coffin was borne to the dais beneath the grand arch, while the great Western Light Guard Band performed the Lincoln Requiem, composed for the occasion. Thirty-six young lady pupils of the High School, dressed in white and banded with crape, then walked around the bier and each deposited an immortelle on the coffin as she passed. The coffin was then placed in the funeral car or hearse, prepared expressly for the occasion, and the funeral cortege passed out of the Park Place into Michigan avenue, and fell into procession..."91
"He comes back to us, his work finished, the republic vindicated, its enemies overthrown and suing for peace," editorialized the Chicago Tribune. "He left us, asking that the payers of the people might be offered to Almighty God for wisdom and help to see the right path and pursue it. Those prayers were answered. He accomplished his work, and now the prayers of the people ascend for help, to bear the great affliction which has fallen upon them. Slain as no other man has been slain, cut down while interposing his great charity and mercy between the wrath of the people and guilty traitors, the people of Chicago tenderly receive the sacred ashes, with bowed heads and streaming eyes."
Power described the funeral procession: "It was a wilderness of banners and flags, with their mottoes and inscriptions. The estimated number of persons in line was thirty-seven thousand, and there were three times as many more who witnessed the procession by crowding into the streets bordering on the line of march, making about one hundred and fifty thousand who were on the streets of Chicago that day, to add their tribute of respect to the memory of Abraham Lincoln."92
The viewing itself at the Court House lasted for 28 hours, ending on May 2 at 8 P.M.. Power wrote: "The coffin was then closed and borne upon the shoulders of the Sergeants of the Veteran Reserve Corps down the south steps to the funeral car. The Light Guard Band performed a requiem as the remains were being transferred. An immense procession, bearing about three thousand torches, was already in line, to escort the remains to the depot. At a quarter before nine o'clock, it moved to the time of numerous bands of music. The route lay west on Washington street to Market, south on Market to Madison, west on Madison, by the Madison street bridge, to canal street, on the west side, thence south on Canal street to the depot of the Chicago, Alton & St. Louis Railroad. While the preparations for starting were in progress, the choir continued to sing funeral dirges, and twenty-five Sergeants of the Veteran Reserve Corps stood around the funeral car with draw swords. At half-past nine o'clock, the funeral cortege moved slowly out of the depot to the strains of a funeral march by the band, while the bells of the city tolled a solemn farewell to all that was mortal of Abraham Lincoln."93
U.S. Sanitary Commission activist Mary A. Livermore recalled: "There was none of the hum of business; none of the rush and whirl and hot haste that characterize Chicago, - but closed stores, silent streets, and sadness resting on all faces. Flags bound with crape floated mournfully at half-mast. Black draperies shrouded the buildings. All talk was low and brief. Many wept as they walked, and on the breast or arm of all were mourning badges. All nationalities, creeds, and sects were ranged along the route to be taken by the funeral cortï¿½ge, or stood amid the solemn pageantry and funeral splendor of the great procession."
William S. Porter was a member of the 145th Illinois Infantry before joined the Chicago & Alton Railroad as a brakeman. He was assigned to work on the train which took President Lincoln's body from Chicago to Springfield.
"J. C. McMullne, assistant superintendent of the Chicago division (afterwards general manager of the entire Chicago & Alton system), had charge of the train, but George Hewitt, an old passenger man, was assigned the position of conductor, from whom the brakemen received their orders direct. I can only recall the names of four or five of my associates as brakemen on that memorable train, and I do not know whatever became of them, except Isaac Evans, who was killed in a round house in East St. Louis during a cyclone which demolished that city in 1871. The other names that I can recall at this time are Peter Dunbar, Theo. Bellows, Robert Barr and Patrick Nevins. As I have not been in the railroad business for about twenty-five years, I have completely lost track of all of them.
"As I remember the funeral train, it consisted of one baggage car, several ordinary coaches and the catafalque car, which was the second car from the rear end of the train. The cars were of the type used at that period and belonged to the Baltimore & Ohio and Pennsylvania Central Railroads, and came through as a solid train from Washington to Springfield. The catafalque car, carrying the corpse of the President, was especially arranged for that purpose. The seats were removed and in the center of the car a structure was built in the shape of a pyramid. Upon the top of this pyramid, which had a railing surrounding it, the casket was placed. By this arrangement, those wishing to view the remains would come up to the foot of the casket in the couples and then separate and pass by in single file on either side and go out of the car in the same order. The next and last car in the train was occupied by members of the family of the President and the higher officials of the government, both civil and military, principally among whom I recall Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War, and Major General Ulysses S. Grant.
"A crack New York city regiment of soldiers (their title or name forgotten) escorted the body and performed guard duty over the entire trip. The guards on duty were placed in this manner: Four guards were posted in each car, two at each end. The moment the train stopped, the guards came out of the car and took the positions assigned to them at the foot of the car steps on both sides of the train. No one was allowed to board the train without a permit. When the signal to proceed was given the engineer gave two short blast on the whistle, then the guards would mount the steps and stand there until the train got under way, then go inside and sit down.
The head officials of the Chicago & Alton railroad took extra precautions for the safety of the train over their line. All the bridges (mostly wooden at that time) were guarded against fire or otherwise by a watchman, who carried red and white signals for both day and night. The switch rails at all the obscure sidings were securely spiked down, et., and all the regular trains were ordered to take the siding one hour before the scheduled time of the funeral train and remain there until it passed by.
Two locomotives were assigned to pull the train from Chicago to its final destination, Springfield, Illinois; one to draw the train proper and the other to act as a 'pilot,' running about four or five minutes ahead of the second section or main train between the principal stations, also assisting the other engine on all steep grades by being coupled together.
The two locomotives selected for this honor were No. 40 and No. 57. Both engines were of the same type and size...built by the Walter McQueen locomotive works at Schenectady, New York. They were 'wood burners,' with an old fashioned balloon smoke-stack, Russia iron jackets, brass dome, brass sand box and brass bell frame.
Engine No. 40, with Henry ('Hank') Russell in charge as engineer, was decorated from the 'cowcatcher' to the rear draw-bar with flags intertwined with crepe and bunting and other symbols of mourning. On the front of the engine and directly under the headlight was placed a crayon portrait bust of Mr. Lincoln in a circular frame, or wreath of flowers, about five feet in diameter.
Engine No. 57, with James ('Jim') Cotton at the throttle, was decorated in about the same manner as the 'pilot' engine.
On the evening of May 2 the two locomotives and train were backed into the Union Station, ready to take the road on their way to Springfield, Illinois, the final destination. The funeral cortege left the court house in Chicago about 6 o'clock p.m. and came west on Madison Street. The hearse was drawn by eight large, coal black stallions. Each horse was accompanied by a groom, who walked alongside with his hand on the bridle bit. The grooms were all negroes, large and fine looking, and were all uniformed alike. They made an impressive appearance.
The train left Chicago about 7:30 or 8 o'clock p.m and proceeded on its journey. At all the larger places, like Joliet, Wilmington, Bloomington and Lincoln, there were large crowds of people, congregated - stern, grim visaged men, tear eye-dimmed women and children - all silent, but with an anxious expectant look as of some impending disaster. It was that way all along the line. There were throngs of people in all the smaller towns, also at the country road crossing could be seen a group of people waiting to see the arrival and passage of this train, the remembrance of which was to become an epoch in their lives.
The train arrived in Springfield about noon the next day, Day 3. A great concourse of people were gathered together in that city on this sad occasion. When the 'pilot engine arrived on the outskirts of the city it stopped and awaited the arrival of the second section, then coupled in with it and proceeded to enter the city. It took over two hours to go about a mile and a half. It was certainly the people's funeral.94
"Springfield, on the nineteenth of April presented the appearance of deep gloom and sadness," wrote Power. "On the day of Mr. Lincoln's death all goods in the stores that could be used for draping the buildings in mourning were taken, and more ordered at once by the merchants. Such additions were made that on this day the insignia of sorrow were profusely displayed on the State House, Governor's Mansion, Post Office, Arsenal, the military headquarters of Gen. John Cook, all the State and county offices, and nearly all the business houses and residences in the city. The feelings of the people prompted them almost universally to comply with the proclamation of Mayor Dennis, and close their houses of business. Flags on the public buildings were draped with mourning and hung at half mast. Stillness, more profound than that of the Sabbath, reigned throughout the city. Before the hour appointed for assembling, the people began to wend their way to the churches. When the time arrived for the services to commence - at noon - twenty-minute guns were fired, at the Arsenal. The churches were nearly all filled to overflowing, with sorrowing and attentive audiences. The services partook partly of religious condolence and partly of panegyric and eulogium. Laymen, as well as ministers, took part in the exercises."95
The same day, reported Power, "The City Council of Springfield assembled...and passed an ordinance appropriating twenty thousand dollars to be expended in defraying the expenses connected with the funeral of Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President to the United States."96
Young Fred T. Dubois remembered: "At the time of the funeral in Springfield private houses were opened to strangers, and the Masons had a large hall provided with tables and chairs and furnished quantities of food for every one that came. After lying in state for three days the body was conducted by the pallbearers (Jesse K. Dubois, Stephen T. Logan, Gustavus Koerner, James L. Lamb, Samuel H. Treat, John Williams, Erastus White, J. M. Brown, Jacob Bunn, Charles Matheny, Elisha Iles and John t. Stuart) to the north end of the statehouse grounds."97
The New York Tribune reported that "The train that brought him to his long home moved slowly into the town, moved slowly through masses of 'plain people' who had come from all the country round about....The train stops. The pall-bearers, those old men, friends of his, lang syne, approach. The stillness among all the people is painful; but when the coffin is taken from the car, that stillness is broken, broken by sobs, and these are more painful than the stillness. The coffin is borne to the hearse; the hearse moves slowly, almost tenderly, away, followed by the mourners, and the pallbearers walk by the side. The cortege, more solemn than any that had gone before, reaches the States House, where he was wont to speak face to face with his neighbors - where at this hour those neighbors press to behold his face locked in death. All night they will pass by with eyes searching through tears for resemblances and recognition of the features they knew so well."98
Lincoln law partner William H. Herndon wrote: "The funeral train reached Springfield on the 3d of May. The casket was borne to the State House and placed in Representative Hall - the very chamber in which in 1854 the deceased had pronounced that fearful invective against the sin of human slavery. The doors were thrown open, the coffin lid was removed, and we had known the illustrious dead in other days, and before the nation lay its claim upon him, moved sadly through and looked for the last time on the silent, upturned face of our departed friend. All day long and through the night a stream of people filed reverently by the catafalque. Some of them were his colleagues at the bar; some his old friends from New Salem; some crippled soldiers fresh from the battlefields of the war; and some were little children who, scarce realizing the impressiveness of the scene, were destined to live and tell their children yet to be born the sad story of Lincoln's death."99
Robert Wilson McClaughrey recalled: "The most pathetic sight to me was the intense grief manifested by the colored people, thousands of whom had journeyed for days in order to be in Springfield at the funeral. In addition to their section in the procession, they were assigned a place, extending from the then city limits toward the cemetery, and there thousands of them massed. Every one of them, it seemed, had possessed himself or herself of some badge or token, which would indicate their grief. Sometimes it was a simple piece of black cloth or crepe, not larger than a man's hand. Others had secured black handkerchiefs. All who could afford it had clothed themselves entirely in black, and, as the bier passed, almost every one of them either knelt or prostrated himself or herself upon the ground and gave way to touching demonstrations of grief. They well knew that their greatest friend was passing to his rest, and the future seemed dark enough to their vision."100 A prominent position after the hearse was taken by Mr. Lincoln's horse, Old Bob, who had drawn the Lincolns' carriage. "Mr. Lincoln's fondness for this horse being known to every one in Springfield is the reason why Old Bob took such a conspicuous place in his friend's last journey," recalled Fred T. Dubois.101 The horse was led by the Rev. Harry Brown, an African-American minister in Springfield who had occasionally done odd-jobs for the Lincoln family.
After a full day of viewing and about 75,000 viewers, the casket was closed for the last time on May 4 at 10 A.M. "Peace, Troubled Soul" was sung by a choir as the funeral cortege prepared to leave for Oak Ridge Cemetery. Dubois recalled: "General Joseph Hooker, as marshal in chief, formed the procession, with brigadier General John Cook and staff and Brigadier General Oakes and staff as escort. It moved east on Washington Street to Eighth, then south, passing the Lincoln home, to Cook, west to Fourth, north on Fourth to University, west on Third to the eastern gate of the cemetery, were all that was mortal of Abraham Lincoln was consigned to the vault prepared to for him, the choir singing the Dead March in Saul,' 'Unveil Thy Bosom, Faithful Tomb,' and 'Take This New Treasure to Thy Trust.'"102
Holland wrote: "The cemetery was occupied by a vast multitude, before the procession arrived; and from hill and tree they looked tearfully on, while the coffin which contained the dust of their friend was consigned to its sepulcher. By the side of it placed the coffin of 'little Willie;' while the living sons, Robert and Thomas, standing by the tomb, were objects of an affectionate interest only equaled by the deep sorrow for their own and their country's loss. Rev. A. Hale of Springfield opened the religious exercises with prayer; a hymn written for the occasion was sung; selections from Scripture, and Mr. Lincoln's last Inaugural were read; and Bishop Matthew Simpson, a favorite of Mr. Lincoln while living, delivered an eloquent address. Requiems and dirges, sung and played, completed the exercises of the occasion, closing with a benediction by Rev. Dr. Phieas Gurley of Washington."103
At the cemetery, Bishop Simpson gave the graveside sermon at temporary funeral vault. He concluded: "Chieftain! Farewell. The nation mourns thee. Mothers shall teach thy name to their lisping children. The youth of our land shall emulate thy virtues. Statesmen shall study thy record, and learn lessons of wisdom. Mute though thy lips be, yet they still speak. Hushed is thy voice, but its echoes of liberty are ringing through the world, and the sons of bondage listen with joy. Prisoned thou art in death, and yet thou art marching abroad, and chains and manacles are bursting at thy touch. Thou didst fall not for thyself. The assassin had no hate for thee. Our hearts were aimed at, our national life was sought. We crown thee as our martyr - and humanity enthrones thee as her triumphant son. Hero, Martyr, Friend, Farewell."104