- Funeral Procession

Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life

A Funeral Procession 1,700 Miles Long (page 1 of 2)

One of two flags that flew from the locomotive of the Lincoln funeral train on the route between Albany and Utica, New York. Gift of Walter McCulloch, 1926.
 
On April 19, 1865, an estimated 25 million Americans attended memorial services for Abraham Lincoln in Washington and around the country. Lincoln’s body lay in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda and then traveled to Springfield on a funeral train that retraced his route to Washington in 1861.

Newspapers publicized the train’s schedule so that citizens could pay their last respects as it passed. In ten cities, Lincoln’s casket was removed from the train for elaborate memorial services and public viewings. On May 3, 1865, the train reached its final destination. The following day Lincoln’s body was placed in its tomb.

Gift of the Lake County Historical Society, 1962

Funeral Pall

Black silk cloth used to drape over Lincoln’s coffin while his body lay in state in Cleveland, Ohio, on April 25, 1865. The same cloth later covered the coffin of President James A. Garfield, who in 1881 became the second president to be assassinated.

Funeral Train

The nine-car funeral train carried 300 guests and the casket of Abraham Lincoln back to Springfield, Illinois. The casket containing the body of Willie Lincoln, who had died three years earlier, was on the train as well. Mary Lincoln had decided that her son should also be buried in Illinois.

Map of the funeral train’s route

Bequest of Helen Leale Harper, Dr Charles Leale’s granddaughter, 2006

Ceremonial Sword

U.S. Medical Staff Officer Dr. Charles Leale wore this sword while serving in the honor guard for Lincoln’s body when it lay in state at the White House and the U.S. Capitol. Leale was on duty at Ford’s Theatre the night of the assassination and was the first doctor to reach the dying president.

Print published by Currier and Ives, 1865

Mourning in New York

The funeral procession in New York lasted four hours and included an estimated 120,000 marchers.