19422 - Lincoln's Funeral Procession; New York City, April 25, 1865 (LC-DIG-ppmsca-19422)
For most, a funeral is a one-time event. For some, such as the President, there may be a national funeral in Washington and then one at the burial place. For Lincoln, however, there were not one or two funerals but twelve! Around 90 minutes after Lincoln’s death on April 15th, 1865, his body was moved to the White House. An autopsy was performed the next day. On the 17th, the body was moved to the East Room for viewing. Public viewing was available on the 18th during the day with a private viewing that evening.
From there, the body was moved to the Capitol rotunda for public viewing on the 20th. Next Lincoln’s body was loaded on a train to begin its journey to Illinois. General Grant, along with several cabinet members and an estimated of 10,000 people were in attendance as the body left Washington station for its trip to Illinois.
The funeral train consisted of nine cars, including baggage and the hearse car. Another train travelled 10 minutes ahead to ensure that the track was clear and there were no problems. Proceeding at no more than 20 miles an hour, the train slowly made its way from Washington to Springfield.
The funeral train stopped for the following viewings:
April 21 - Baltimore, MD
April 21/22 - Harrisburg PA
April 22/23 - Philadelphia, PA
April 24/25 - New York, NY
April 26 - Albany NY
April 27 - Buffalo, NY
April 28 - Cleveland, OH
April 29 - Columbus, OH
April 30 - Indianapolis, IN
May 1/2 - Chicago, IL
May 3/4 - Springfield, IL
During each stop the body was moved in a hearse to the viewing area. The catafalque seen here was only used in New York. The New York City Board paid undertaker Peter Relyea $9,000 to create the carriage that would be used for this one event. Accompanying the hearse was the New York 7th (known as the "Grey Jackets”) and the Veteran Reserve Corps in their distinctive sky blue uniforms.
Special thanks to Richard Sloan for his research and assistance on the color choices used in this image.