Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) 150 years ago today, April 21, 1865, the train bearing the body of President Abraham Lincoln departed from here in the Nation's Capital.
The President's remains, along with those of his son Willie, were destined to travel through 160 communities in 7 states with stops including Baltimore, Buffalo, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Chicago. Formal funerals were held in 12 cities.
Mr. Lincoln's last train trip lasted 12 days and spanned 1700 miles from Washington to Springfield. The Lincoln Funeral Train would be viewed by an estimated 30 million mourners.
The ultimate destination was Lincoln's adopted hometown in Illinois where he would be laid to rest. Arrangements for the train were directed by Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton with General Edward D. Townsend in charge of logistics.
The train included a specially built private car, The United States, that ironically was scheduled to transport Mr. Lincoln for the first time on the morning of April 15, 1865. The President died at 7:22 a.m on that very day.
The private car, which had been built in Alexandria, Virginia, was delivered by the United States Military Railroad (USMRR).
In every city the Lincoln Funeral Train entered, there were mourning signs and banners. In Chicago, one read...
"Noblest martyr to Freedom
Sacred thy dust
Hallowed thy resting place.
'With tears we resign these
to God and History.'"
"Lincoln's Funeral Train Departed 150 Years Ago Today," Here & Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson, www.hereandnow.wbur.org/
"Lincoln's Funeral Train," www.the2015lincolnfuneraltrain.com
"The Funeral Train of Abraham Lincoln," Abraham Lincoln's Classroom, www.abrahamlincolnsclassroom.org/
Lincoln's Funeral Train