Springfield in Sangamon County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Lincoln's Final Journey
Looking for Lincoln
— 1865 —
One of the many attractions
Lincoln's remains lay in repose as the Statehouse (now the historic Old State Capitol Building). To view the late president, a line of mourners, flanked by military guards, patiently stretched out of the Hall of Representatives, where the ornate coffin rested upon a specially constructed catafalque, descended a winding staircase, and exited the building, where is continued unbroken down the street. An estimated 75,000 people solemnly passed by in single file to pay their last respects during the twenty-four hour viewing. Throughout it all, the mournful occasion
The funeral car carrying Lincoln's remains was the United States, built by the United States Military Railroads for the president's private use, although he never used it while he was alive. The military renovated the car and decorated it appropriately for mourning. An officer's car was also attached. The remainder of the train varied from seven to nine coaches, sleepers, or baggage cars, supplied by various railroad companies, over the extent of their rights-of-way. These companies provided the locomotives as well. A pilot engine preceded the train by ten minutes to announce its arrival.
The news of Lincoln's assassination plunged a victorious North into national mourning. Amidst the outpouring of grief, the government debated where the sixteenth president's remains would rest, while cities across the North vied for the honor of taking part in the funeral. When Mary Lincoln finally insisted upon Springfield as the burial site, the job of planning the funeral trip to Illinois fell to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and selected subordinates. Sifting through the many official requests to host Lincoln's remains, planners eventually decided upon a train route roughly equivalent to the president's inaugural trip, this time including Chicago while bypassing Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Along
Henry P. Cattell, of the firm Brown and Alexander, embalmed Lincoln's remains at the White House under the authority of Secretary Stanton. Embalming was a new procedure in the United States, introduced only twenty-five years earlier. It had become popular during the Civil War as a means of preserving the remains of Union soldiers so their bodies would survive the long train trip north for burial at home. Cattell's method included injecting the preservative zinc chloride through the femoral artery with some drainage of blood.
Lincoln himself was familiar with both the procedure and Henry Cattell, as he had prepared the remains of the Lincolns' son, Willie, in 1862. Lincoln's funeral thus inadvertently advanced the concept of embalming, introducing the procedure to untold thousands who viewed the president's prepared remains in different cities along the national route.
Erected 2008 by Looking for Lincoln Heritage Foundation, Museum of Funeral Customs.
Topics and series. Railroads & Streetcars • Science & Medicine. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, and the Looking for Lincoln series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1865.
Location. 39° 48.118′ N, 89° 39.101′ W. Marker is in Springfield, Illinois, in Sangamon County. Marker is on South 3rd Street south of East Jefferson Street (Illinois Route 97), on the left when traveling south. Marker is outside Springfield's Amtrak train station. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 North 3rd St, Springfield IL 62701, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Abraham Lincoln's Funeral Train (within shouting distance of this marker); Brunwick's Billiard Hall (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Globe Tavern (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Globe Tavern (about 500 feet away); Joshua Speed's Store (about 500 feet away); First Sangamon County Courthouse (about 600 feet away); Stuart and Lincoln Law Office (about 600 feet away); The Wedding of the Rose and the Lotus (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Springfield.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 23, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 23, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 251 times since then and 67 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 23, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.