Abraham Lincoln’s Funeral Train: How America Mourned for Three Weeks

After dying of a gunshot wound on April 15, 1865, Abraham Lincoln was not allowed to rest in peace, not immediately at least. Even in death, the slain president was called upon to make a final sacrifice to the Union as his body marched through a grief-stricken country in a funeral spectacle that spanned nearly 1,700 miles.

“Now he belongs to the ages,” Edwin Stanton reportedly said when Lincoln passed away, but the Secretary of War did not believe the country was ready to say goodbye. Although Mary Lincoln wanted her husband’s body to take the most direct route home to Springfield, Illinois for burial, Stanton convinced her to approve a more circuitous rail journey. which traced the whistle stops Lincoln had made from the Illinois capital to the nation’s capital four years earlier. , just before his inauguration.

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