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Indiana Historical Bureau

IHB > Historical Markers > Find a Marker > The Lincoln Funeral Train The Lincoln Funeral Train

The Lincoln Funeral TrainThe Lincoln Funeral Train

Location: South lawn, Indiana State House, 200 West Washington St., Indianapolis (Marion County, Indiana)

Installed: 2009 Indiana Historical Bureau and Indiana Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission

ID#: 49.2009.1

Text

Side one:

Assassinated President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral was April 19, 1865 at the White House. The funeral train left for Springfield, Illinois April 21 directed by the military; stops en route allowed mourners to pay homage. In Richmond, Indiana, Governor Oliver P. Morton boarded; train reached Indianapolis, April 30, at 7:00 a.m. Buildings were draped in black.

Side two:

In the rain, Lincoln’s coffin was escorted along crowded streets lined with soldiers to old State House, located here. Reports say at least 50,000 people viewed Lincoln’s open casket in the rotunda. Through streets lit by bonfires and torches, coffin was returned to Union Depot; train departed at 12:00 a.m. for Michigan City, last scheduled Indiana stop.

Keywords

Government Institutions, Politics, Special Events

Annotated Text

The Lincoln Funeral Train

Side one:

Assassinated President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral was April 19, 1865 at the White House.[1] The funeral train left for Springfield, Illinois April 21 directed by the military; stops en route allowed mourners to pay homage.[2] In Richmond, Indiana, Governor Oliver P. Morton boarded; train reached Indianapolis, April 30, at 7:00 a.m.[3] Buildings were draped in black.[4]

Side two:

In the rain, Lincoln’s coffin was escorted along crowded streets lined with soldiers to old State House, located here.[5] Reports say at least 50,000 people viewed Lincoln’s open casket in the rotunda.[6] Through streets lit by bonfires and torches, coffin was returned to Union Depot; train departed at 12:00 a.m. for Michigan City, last scheduled Indiana stop.[7]

Notes

1. “President Lincoln Assassinated,” Indianapolis Daily Journal, April 15, 1865 (B070419); “To the Citizens of Indianapolis,” Indianapolis Daily Journal, Extra, April 16, 1865 (B070420; “The Obsequies: Funeral of Abraham Lincoln,” New York Times, April 20, 1865 (B070583); “Programme of the President's Funeral,” Indianapolis Daily Journal, April 21, 1865 (B070424).

2. “Transportation of Mr. Lincoln's Remains,” Indianapolis Daily Gazette, April 20, 1865 (B070470); “The President's Remains,” Chicago Tribune, April 22, 1865 (B070541); “Programme of the President's Funeral,” Indianapolis Daily Journal, April 21, 1865 (B070424); Report of the Adjutant General of Indiana, 8 vols. (Indianapolis, 1865-1869), 1:386-87 (B071356).

3. “In Memoriam,” Indianapolis Daily Journal, April 30, 1865 (B070431); “The Arrival of the Remains of President Lincoln,” Daily State Sentinel, May 1, 1865 (B070476); “In Memoriam,” Indianapolis Daily Journal, May 1, 1865 (B070432); “Funeral Honors, on the Reception of the Remains of Abraham Lincoln, Late President of the United States,” Indianapolis Daily Gazette, May 1, 1865 (B070472); Report of the Adjutant General of Indiana, 8 vols. (Indianapolis, 1865-1869), 1:386-87 (B071356).

4. “Funeral Honors, on the Reception of the Remains of Abraham Lincoln, Late President of the United States,” Indianapolis Daily Gazette, May 1, 1865 (B070472); “In Memoriam,” Indianapolis Daily Journal, May 1, 1865 (B070432); “The Funeral Cartage,” Indianapolis Daily Journal, May 2, 1865 (B070433).

5. “Funeral Honors, on the Reception of the Remains of Abraham Lincoln, Late President of the United States,” Indianapolis Daily Gazette, May 1, 1865 (B070472); “In Memoriam,” Indianapolis Daily Journal, May 1, 1865 (B070432); “The Arrival of the Remains of President Lincoln,” Daily State Sentinel, May 1, 1865 (B070476).

The first State House at this site was completed in 1835 and razed in 1877-78. The Indianapolis Journal, March 13, 1878.

6. “Funeral Honors, on the Reception of the Remains of Abraham Lincoln, Late President of the United States,” Indianapolis Daily Gazette, May 1, 1865 (B070472); “In Memoriam,” Indianapolis Daily Journal, May 1, 1865 (B070432); “The Arrival of the Remains of President Lincoln,” Daily State Sentinel, May 1, 1865 (B070476); Report of the Adjutant General of Indiana, 8 vols. (Indianapolis, 1865-1869), 1:386-87 (B071356).

In the sources listed here, the estimated number of people who viewed Lincoln’s remains varied, ranging from 50,000 to more than 100,000. Indianapolis’ population in 1860 was 18,611, and in 1870 was 48,244 (John D. Barnhart and Donald F. Carmony, Indiana from Frontier to Industrial Commonwealth, 2 vols. (Indianapolis, 1979 reprint), 2:307.

7. “Funeral Honors, on the Reception of the Remains of Abraham Lincoln, Late President of the United States,” Indianapolis Daily Gazette, May 1, 1865 (B070472); “The Arrival of the Remains of President Lincoln,” Daily State Sentinel, May 1, 1865 (B070476); “The Funeral,” Chicago Tribune, May 2, 1865 (B070536); “The Progress of the Funeral Train,” Chicago Tribune, May 3, 1865 (B070537); “Remarkable Railroad Performance,” Indianapolis Daily Gazette, May 6, 1865 (B070535).

The funeral train on its way from Indianapolis to Chicago stopped as planned at Michigan City to change engines and switch railway lines. Some sources report that one or more members of the funeral cortege were left behind at Michigan City. Another engine with the stragglers quickly caught up with the funeral train requiring an unplanned stop in Indiana a few miles west of Michigan City. This report has not been corroborated at this time.