Tuesday, April 21, 2015

April 21: Lincoln's Funeral Train

On this date in History ..... April 21, 1865:

Marker on the lawn of the Indiana State House, Indianapolis IN
Lincoln’s funeral train leaves Washington in what became the nation’s first national funeral. The train also carried the exhumed coffin of his 11 year old son Willie (who had died in 1862) so he could be buried next to his father. 

The train traveled through seven states and 180 cities on its way to the burial site in Illinois, where Lincoln would be buried on May 4th.  It stopped in small & large cities with millions lining the railway in the rain, wind & during the night to see the train. It was reported that people waited in line as long as five hours to walk past Lincoln's coffin.

When the train went through (my hometown of) Richmond, Indiana, Governor Oliver P. Morton boarded the train. At least 50,000 walked through the Indianapolis State House rotunda to view the open casket that sat on display.

The train car that carried Lincoln's body was destroyed in a fire in 1911.

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