Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Last Ride

On Friday April 21st 1865 Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train left Washington DC. The train would travel 1,654 miles pretty much retracing the route that president elect Lincoln had taken in 1861. Known as the Lincoln Special, that engine had the late president’s photo on the cowcatcher and carried about 300 mourners. It also held the remains of young Willie Lincoln who had been disinterred to be reburied in Springfield L with his father. When the train stopped in Baltimore MD Lincoln’s coffin was removed to the Merchant’s Exchange Building, where about 10,000 people viewed it in three hours. It was placed on a decorated horse drawn hearse and transport to the view area. This was repeated through out 180 citied and seven states on its way to Springfield IL. Each stop was published in the paper. Many mourners would wait five hours to view the President’s body.

A prairie fire in 1911 near Minneapolis MN would destroy the train that had carried Lincoln’s body to it’s final resting place.

A book you might enjoy
The Lincoln Funeral Train: The Final Journey and National Funeral for Abraham Lincoln

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