President of the United States
Assassination and legacy
The funeral and burial of Abraham Lincoln included a three-week series of events in 1865 held to mourn the President's death and memorialize him. Following United States President Abraham Lincoln's death by assassination, funeral services were held in Washington, D.C., and then at additional locations as a funeral train transported his remains for burial in his hometown of Springfield, Illinois. The body was accompanied by dignitaries. Lincoln's eldest son Robert Toddrode the train to Baltimore and then disembarked and returned to the White House. Lincoln's wife Mary Todd Lincoln remained at the White House because she was too distraught to make the trip. Robert took a later train to Springfield for his father's final funeral and burial.
The remains of Lincoln's youngest son, William Wallace Lincoln (1850–1862), were also placed on the train (see Movements of other Lincoln caskets below), which left Washington, D.C., on April 21, 1865 at 12:30 pm and traveled 1,654 miles (2,662 km) to Springfield, arriving on May 3, 1865. Several stops were made along the way, in which Lincoln's body lay in state. The train retraced the route Lincoln had traveled to Washington as the president-elect on his way to his first inauguration. Millions of Americans viewed the train along the route, and participated in the ceremonies and processions.
Lincoln was interred at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield. The site of the Lincoln Tomb, now owned and managed as a state historic site, is marked by a 117-foot (36 m)-tall granite obelisk surmounted with several bronze statues of soldiers and sailors constructed by 1874. Mary Todd Lincoln and three of their four sons are also buried there. (Robert Todd Lincoln is buried in Arlington National Cemetery at Arlington, Virginia). Because of the length of the funeral, historians have called this event "The Greatest Funeral in the History of the United States".
After the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth, his body was carried by an honor guard to the White House on Saturday April 15, 1865. He lay in state in the East Room of the White House which was open to the public on Tuesday, April 18. On April 19, a funeral service was held and then the coffin, attended by large crowds, was transported in a procession down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol Rotunda, where a ceremonial burial service was held. The body again laid in state on the 20th and on the early morning of the following day a prayer service was held for the Lincoln cabinet.
Funeral train to Springfield, Illinois
At 7 a.m. on Friday, April 21, the coffin was taken by honor guard to the depot. Edwin M. Stanton, Gideon Welles, Hugh McCulloch, John Palmer Usher, Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, and Montgomery C. Meigs left the escort at the depot, and at 8 A.M. the train departed. At least 10,000 people witnessed the train's departure from Washington.
The funeral train consisted of nine cars, including a baggage and hearse car. Eight of the cars were provided by the chief railways over which the remains were transported; the ninth was the President's car, which had been built for use by the president and other officials, and contained a parlor, sitting room, and sleeping apartment. The car had been draped in mourning and contained the coffins of Lincoln and his son. Different locomotives were used on different stretches of the trip. The train was preceded [10 minutes ahead] by a pilot locomotive with one car to see that the track ahead was unobstructed.
The Department of War designated the route and declared railroads over which the remains passed as military roads under the control of brevet Brigadier General Daniel McCallum, the director and superintendent of United States Military Railroads. No person was allowed to be transported on the cars except those authorized by the War Department, and the train never moved at speeds of more than 20 miles (32 km) an hour to avoid any accidents.
Five relatives and family friends were officially appointed to accompany the funeral train: David Davis, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States; Lincoln's brothers-in-law, Ninian Wirt Edwards and C. M. Smith; Brigadier General John Blair Smith Todd, a cousin of Mary Todd Lincoln; and Charles Alexander Smith, the brother of C. M. Smith. An honor guard accompanied the train; this consisted of Union Army Major General David Hunter; brevet Major General John G. Barnard; Brigadier Generals Edward D. Townsend, Charles Thomas Campbell, Amos Beebe Eaton, John C. Caldwell, Alfred Terry, George D. Ramsey, and Daniel McCallum; Union Navy Rear Admiral Charles Henry Davis and Captain William Rogers Taylor; and Marine Corps Major Thomas H. Field.
Four accompanied the train in an official capacity: Captain Charles Penrose, as quartermaster and commissary of subsistence; Ward Hill Lamon, Lincoln's longtime bodyguard and friend and U.S. Marshal for the District of Columbia; and Dr. Charles B. Brown and Frank T. Sands, embalmer and undertaker, respectively.