POTUS: Lincoln and Trains


Lincoln Train Museum in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Lincoln Train Museum
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(Photo clipped from an old New York Central Headlight)

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Lincoln Funeral Train

Picture at left is the engine that pulled the Lincoln Funeral Train

Photo courtesy of Wayne Koch

Information on Lincoln's funeral train, including details on the route, is fully covered in Scott Trostel's book on the subject, with maps.

Notes on the Lincoln Inaugural and Funeral Trains

Compiled by Richard Palmer
Spirit of the Times, Batavia, N.Y., April 29, 1865 The train was drawn by the engine “Dean Richmond,” Leonard Ham, engineer, which was very tastefully draped. It had a full length portrait of the President underneath the headlight in front, which was surrounded by the graceful folds of two national flags thrown over the upper part of the engine, each trimmed with black and white crape. Two exquisite bouquets took the place of the engine flag and another still surmounted the sand box. The hand rails were neatly adorned with festoons of black nd white tasteful rosettes. The cab was draped with the national colors.
Batavia (N.Y.) Republican Advocate, Tues., May 2, 1865 A Solemn Pageant. ___________ Reception of the Remains of President Lincoln. ____ The proceedings held in connection with the remains of our late lamented chief magistrate, from the time of starting from Washington, to their arrival at their final resting place in Springfield, will make a new era in the history of our country. This illustrious man is mourned as no man has been mourned since the days of Washington. From the time of leaving the National capital, it was the great and absorbing topic of the country. At every city where the remains were to be viewed, thousands an tens of thousands - aye, hundreds of thousands in some instances, flocked to see them. Harrisburg, Philadelphia, New York, Albany and Buffalo, were the prominent points and the only ones east of Buffalo, where the remains were to be seen. And in those places the densest crowds were collected, all anxious to obtain a view of the remains of the Patriot Statesman. The funeral train arrived at Batavia at 5:18 on Thursday morning, and at that early hour there cold not have been less than two thousand people present - bought from the several towns in this county. The Depot had been previously draped in mourning in a most artistic manner, under the supervision of Messrs. John Fisher, Jerry Hassle and A.R. Warner, Committee, and Mr. E. Ferren and Nathan T. Smith, two gentlemen of excellent taste and judgment. A stand had been erected for the choir, and other preparations prior for the occasion made. Minute guns were fired, bells tolled, and on the arrival of the train, dirges were chanted by the choir under the direction of Myron H. Beck, Esq. Other suitable and impressive strains were sung, producing a most solemn effect. On the arrival of the train, the vast multitude stood with uncovered heads, every countenance manifesting the profoundest sorrow. A beautiful bouquet of flowers was presented by Mrs. John Fisher, and placed on the coffin. The following description of the Funeral Car, &c., we take from the Democrat: The Funeral Car. The Funeral Car is a beautiful specimen of the builder’s art, and was designed and constructed by Mr. B.P. Lamerson, for Mr. Lincoln’s use, but the present sad occasion is the first time this splendid car has been put in motion. Of a deep chocolate color, the panels relieved with a delicate tracery of small pure white lines, the car would seem almost specially designed for its present use. There are twelve windows with plate glass panes on each side, and the entire exterior of the car is of the richest character. The edge of the roof is tastefully and richly hung with deep silver fringe, as well as the ends of the porches. Above the window is a heavy row of crape festoons, looped over each window by a silver star and a large silver button tassel. Pendant between each window hangs a deep fold of crape, edged with silver fringe. The interior of the car is hung in black tapestry, which completely conceals the rich walnut paneling and the closets, sleeping berths and other appliances of comfort. The platform upon which the coffin stood is covered with black, and all around the deep and solemn aspect of the interior is somewhat brightened and relieved by silver stars and tassels. The Coffin at Buffalo. The coffin was a costly piece of workmanship and beautiful, if the term may be applied to anything so suggestive of sorrow and grief. it had a black velvet covering, heavily fringed around the top with silver, and had upon its lids and sides heavy silver mountings, and silver nails in ornamental designs. Upon the lid was also a plate, bearing the simple inscription of the birth and death of “Abraham Lincoln.” At the head of the coffin was placed a beautiful floral ornament in the form of a harp presented by the St. Cecilia Society. At the foot was placed an exquisite chaplet of white flowers, presented by the ladies of the Unitarian Church. Mr. Lincoln having worshipped at their church on his way to Washington to his first inauguration, and expressing himself cheered and sustained by the words of their beloved pastor. It was deposited by four members of the church, Mesdames Haws, Sprague, Savary, and Miss Langdom, and bore the form of an anchor,with the inscription: Truth, crushed to earth, will rise again; The eternal years of God are here; While Error, wounded, writhes in pain, And dies among its worshippers. It is estimate by good judges that not less than one hundred thousand persons viewed the remains while lying in state at Buffalo.
New York Tribune, Friday, April 28, 1865 Our Dead President ____ The Funeral Progress Westward. ____ Scenes Along the New York Central ____ The Arrival at Buffalo. ____ Albany, Wednesday Afternoon. - The following named gentlemen accompany the remains of the late President through the State of New York by invitation of Gov. Fenton; Judges Davies and Porter of the Court of Appeals; the Hon. Chauncey M. Depew, Secretary of State; Gens. Alexander W. Harney and George S. Batchellor; E. Merritt and S.E. Marvin, Staff Officers; Col. L.L. Doty of the Military Bureau; George Dawson of The Albany Journal, and William Cassidy of the Argus and Atlas. Gov. Fenton himself could not attend the party, owing to the fact that the Legislature is on the eve of adjournment. A delegation from Utica was also on board the train. For a long distance after we left the dense assemblage at the railroad station, thousands of people were passed, quiet observers of the fleeting train - the men lifting their hats in view of the hearse-car containing the remain of the truly lamented dead. Far beyond the city limits we only see here and there a national flag with the appropriate mourning badge before some solitary house, the occupants being on the door step or piazza. Two small boys are on a hill top holding in their hands miniature draped flags, and standing with heads uncovered. Small groups on a hillside occasionally appear. At the cross roads are men and women on country wagons. A party of about thirty young girls with a few mail companions are in line on a lever green at the opening of a wood. They all bow their heads in final adieu. The scenery is beautiful, animated at various points with human feelings. Flags at half mast continue top be seen at housed draped with mourning. Schenectady, 4:45. - Here the people are gathered in large numbers in the streets, on car-tracks, in railroad coaches, at the windows, on the porches, house-tops, in the trees - every elevated position having an occupant. The station is beautifully draped, and badges and flags on private residences are draped in mourning. There is here a company of soldiers on each side of the track. Ladies were seen shedding tears. The signal men bear in their hands white square flags, bordered with black. Amsterdam, 5:25. - Here another large crowd is gathered at the station, at door fronts, and along the road. The scene is picturesque. The emblems of mourning everywhere appear. Draped flags are thrown out and the bells are tolled. Fonda, 5:55. - We stopped for a few minutes. Many persons were gathered; minute guns were fired. Palatine Bridge, 6:25. - Here the roads and both sides of the hills, and the bridge, were lined with spectators of all ages and of both sexes. In fact, every inhabitant of that locality seemed to be abroad. The depot was elaborately draped in front with National flags, nearly associated with black cloth. the roof of the building was festooned with long pieces of black and white, the drapery elevated on the posts and gracefully drooping. Minute guns were fired, while a dirge was performed by an instrumental band. The interest of the living scene was enhanced by the natural beauty of the romantic locality. There are individual demonstrations all along the line. Fort Plain, 6:32.- A large National flag, edged with mourning, is displayed, held at the four corners by as many lads. The scholars of he Academy, with their teachers and a few others of the neighborhood, are ranged in line - the men with heads uncovered. St. Johnsville. 6:47. - We stopped here for thirteen minutes in order to lunch. A fine collation has been provided at the railway station. The waiters are 22 young ladies, dressed in black skirts with white waists, and black scarfs on the left arm. They are admired as much for their attention as for their personal appearance. They are volunteers for this occasion. The officers in charge of the remains, in acknowledgment of their kindness, extend to them the privilege of passing through the funeral car to see the coffin. Little Falls, 7:35. - We here have an interesting and affecting scene. As at the previous places, many persons were assembled. the mournful music of an instrumental band, blended with that of the village bells and minute guns, added their heavy brass to the sacred concert. The scenery here is represented to be of a romantic character, but its beauty was clouded in the partial darkness of night. A note, of which the following is a copy, was presented in behalf of the ladies: Little Falls, April 26, 1865. The ladies of Little Falls, through their Committee, present these flowers and the shield, as an emblem of the protection which our beloved President ever proved to the liberties of the American people. The Cross of his ever faithful trust in God, and the Wreath was the token that we mingle our tears with those of of an afflicted nation. Mrs. S.M. Richmond Miss Minnie Hill Mrs. E.W. Hopkins Miss Helen Brooks Mrs. Power Green Miss Maria Brooks Mrs. Jas. H. Buchlin Miss Mary Shaw Committee. These artistically arranged flowers were then brought forth. There was a surging of the multitude in that direction, and, in consequence, there was some difficulty with the bearers of the delicate and expressive tribute of affection in reaching the hearse-car; but the floral emblems were deposited on the coffin, the band, meanwhile, performing a dirge. Women and men were moved to tears at this solemn exhibition of heartfelt regard. Herkimer, 7:50. - The crowd here was very large. On both sides of the road the people in a body impulsively moved toward the hearse-car, when Mr. Lafflin, mounting the platform of the car, addressed the assemblage, saying: “The body of our departed friend is in the second car from the rear, and if the citizens will retain their present positions they will be able to see the car when the train again moves.” This appeal partially produced the desired effect. Standing by the station near the track, plainly visible in the glare of many lights, were thirty six young ladies, representing the States, dressed in white, with heavy black shashes. On their heads were crowns of flowers, and in their hands small national flags draped with crape. The scene was truly beautiful. Utica, 8:45. - The depot buildings are heavily draped and the flags at half-mast. House fronts bear symbols of mourning. It is slightly raining and not a few umbrellas are hoisted. There are minute guns, funeral music and the tolling of bells. It is said that there are at least 25,000 persons here. This does not appear to be an under-estimate. The soldiery have much difficulty in keeping the masses off the track, as at various other places. The ”moral” object of interest is the hearse-car, and thither persons of both sexes are pressing. The guests having been entertained by the Utica escort, which accompanied the remains from Albany, take leave, and amid the excitement the solemn music of the band is again heard; minute guns are fired and the bells tolled. The instrumental band performing a plaintiff air, pass the hearse-car, and soon is heard the rumbling of the moving train. An application had previously been made for the remains to be exposed to public view, but a telegram from Major-Gen. Dix informed the Hon. Roscoe Conkling that the arrangements made at Washington did not admit of such a deviation. Oriskany, 9:36. - The people are here assembled, and have kindled a bonfire. Other places were passed during the night. Syracuse, 11:15. - The depot was heavily draped with American flags, on each side through the entire length. Each flag was trimmed with black and decorated the sides f the building. Evergreen trees were placed at intervals of about 10 feet along both sides of the depot. In addition to the ordinary gas-lights, four large locomotive lamps illumined the interior, and four others illuminated the track east and west. The hotels in the vicinity of the depot and nearly all the private residences along the street through which the railroad extended, were appropriately draped and illuminated. The bells of the city tolled and minute guns were fired while the funeral train was within the limits of the city. A large police force was in attendance to preserve order, and a company of Veteran Reserves were in attendance to pay honors to the illustrious dead. A band of music played a dirge as the train entered the depot, and a choir of 100 voices sang appropriate hymns during the stoppage of the train. The crowd of citizens was immense, nd large delegations came in from Oswego and the surrounding towns. Thousands were standing for hours in the depot and adjoining streets, waiting for the arrival of the funeral train. The train was received by the assembled multitude with uncovered heads, and with every manifestation of heartfelt sorrow. A small bouquet was handed to the delegate from Idaho (the Hon. W.H. Wallace), upon which were the appropriate words, “The last tribute of respect from Mary Virginia Raynor, a little girl 3 years of age, - Dated Syracuse, April 26, 1865.” It was placed on the President’s coffin by Gen. Aken. Warners, 11:54. - Torchlights are burning on each side of the train. Many hundreds of people are gathered in groups here, as at previous places, with uncovered heads. A.L. Dick, General Superintendent of Telegraph, is on the train. Memphis, 12 o’clock midnight. - The train passes onward. Many spectators here bearing torchlights. Bonfires blazing. Jordan, 12:14 - Large fires and throngs of citizens are seen. Weedsport, 12:26. - Large crowds of citizens are gathered here and bonfires are blazing. Port Byron, 12:40. - The Depot Agent, A.M. Green, has draped the depot with mourning. Two large American flags are flying at half-mast, and numerous chintz lanterns light up the depot. Savannah, 1 a.m. - Many spectators are gathered here and bonfires blaze one each side of the depot. Clyde, 1:15 a.m. - The depot is trimmed with mourning. There is a large demonstration here. Guns are fired, bells tolled. Lyons, 1:20. - A very large number of persons is gathered at the station to view the train as it passes along. The train moves onward. Newark, Palmyra, Macedon and Fairport are successively passed. Bonfires are seen blazing, flags draped with mourning, and many spectators gathered together. Rochester, 3:20 a.m. - As we enter Rochester minute guns are fired and the bells tolled. On the north side of the railroad station were drawn up in line the 54th Regiment N.G., 1st company of Veterans Reserves and hospital soldiers, and a battery attached to the Twenty-fifth Brigade, and the 1st company of Union Blues. The Independent and Newman’s regimental band played a funeral dirge. On the south side were Mayor with 25 members of the Common Council of Rochester, together with Gen. John Williams and staff, Major Lee, commanding the post, with is corps of assistants, and Gen. Martindale and staff. We stop 10 minutes at Rochester. The people are abroad in full force. The streets in the vicinity of the stopping place are crowded. Houses are seen draped with the usual emblems and draped flags. We soon pass the intermediate stations are at Batavia, 5 a.m. - Large masses of people appear on the road. Our party has been increased by the addition of ex-President Fillmore and Messrs. J.A. Verplanck, J. Gallastin, James Sheldon, S.S. Jewett, Henry Martin, Philip Dorsheimer, J.P. Stevens, E.S. Prosser, John Wilkinson, Henry Morrison, N.K. Hopkinson, on behalf of the Mayor of Buffalo, who was prevented from being personally present, to tender the hospitalities of the city to the party accompanying the remains of the late president. Marked attention was extended by Mr. H.N. Chittenden, General Superintendent, and Mr. E. Foster, Jr., and Z. C. Priest, Assistant Superintendent of the Eastern Division, and Messrs. W. G. Lapham and J. Tillinghast, Sperintendents of the Western Division; also by J.P. Dukehart, connected with the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company, who is in charge of the train as through conductor from Washington to Springfield, with Homer P. Williams and Samuel Holdreth as assistants. Buffalo, 7 a.m. - We are now at Buffalo. Not the slightest accident has happened on the way from Washington, owing to the admirable arrangements, and the faithful and experienced officers in charge of the train. We were met at the depot by large concourse of people, the men with uncovered heads. The funeral party were entertained at breakfast at Bloomer’s dining saloon, by the city authorities. The procession was formed between 7 and 8 o’clock, and proceeded toward St. James Hall, under a civil and military escort, in company with the party which had followed the remains from Washington. The coffin was prominently in view of the very many persons who lined the streets through which the cortege passed. The hearse was heavily covered with black cloth, surmounted with an arched roof and tastefully trimmed with white satin and silver lace. An extensive display of the military and civilians was omitted in view of the fat that Buffalo had a funeral procession on the day the obsequies took place at Washington. The procession reached the young Men’s Association building at 9:35 a.m. the body was taken from the funeral car and carried by soldiers up into St. James Hall and deposited on the dais in the presence of the accompanying officers, the guards of honor, and the Union Continentals, commanded by N.K. Hall. The remains were placed under a crape canopy, extending from the ceiling to the floor. The space was lit by a large chandelier. In the gallery outside the canopy was the Buffalo St. Cecilia Society, and Amateur American Music Association, who, as the remains were brought in sang with deep pathos the dirge, “Rest Spirit, rest,” affecting every heart and moving many to tears. The Society then placed an elegantly-formed harp, made of choice white flowers, at the head of the coffin as tribute rom them to the honored dead. Shortly after this the public were admitted. Ex-President Fillmore was among the civilians escorting the remains to St. James Hall. Also Company D, 74th Regiment, Capt. S.G. Bowles. This Company acted as an escort to President Lincoln four years ago from and to the depot, on his way to Washington. They will escort his remains from Buffalo to Cleveland. The Rev. Dr. Gurley, who officiated at the funeral in Washington, accompanies the funeral party to this city. The following named members of Congress reached Buffalo, with the train: Senators James W. Nye of Nevada and George Williams of Oregon, accompanied by George T. Brown, the Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate; Representatives E.B. Washburne and S.M. Collum, Robert C. Schenek, Illinois; Charles E. Phelps, Maryland; James B. Sherman, California; Samuel Hooper, Massachusetts; William A. Newell, New Jersey; White Forrie, Michigan; Sidney Clark, Kansas; Killion V. Whaley, Western Virginia; Burt Van Horn, New York; and ex-Representatives Isaac N. Arnold of Illinois; Joseph Bailey, Pennsylvania; W.H. Wallace of idaho; Augustus Frank and John Ganson of New York; with M. Gordway the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Representatives. Second Dispatch. Buffalo, Thursday, April 27, 1865. Gustavus A. Newell of New Jersey, has been invited to accompany the remains to Springfield. The following are the names of the Army and Navy officers in the funeral party: Brig. Gen. E.D. Townsend of the Adjutant General’s Department, representing the Secretary of War; Maj. Gen. David Hunter, U.S. Vols.; Rear-Admiral Davis, U.S.N.; Brevet Major Gen. J. G. Barnard, U.S. Vols.; Brig. Gen. Ramsey, Ordinance Department; Brig. Gen. Eaton, Commissary-General of Subsistence; Capt. Taylor, U.S.N.; Brig. Gen. Howe, Chief of Artillery; Brig. Gen. Caldwell, Brig. Gen. McCallum, Superintendent of U.S. Military Railroads; Brig. Ekin, Quartermaster’s Department; Major Field, U.S. Marine Corps. As erroneous statements have been in the press, it is necessary to say on the authority of the embalmer and undertaker, that no perceptible change has taken place in the body of the late President since we left Washington. The Washington physicians removed a part of the brain only for the autopsy but this was replace, so that no part of the body whatever is now deficient. The remains were visited through the day from 9:30 this morning until 8 o’clock this evening by an immense number of persons. The arrangements generally are pronounced to be better than elsewhere on the route. Great credit is therefore due to the Committee who perfected them. The hospitalities were everywhere liberally extended, both by the corporate authorities and individual citizens. During the morning there was placed at the foot of the coffin an anchor of while camelins, from the ladies of the Unitarian Church of Buffalo. A cross of white flowers was also laid upon the coffin. At the request of Major General Dix and others, the officers of the St. Cecilia Society this afternoon repeated the dirge, which was sung, with, if possible, more solemn and touching effect than in the morning. The procession, with the remains, left St. James Hall at about 8:45, escorted to the depot by the military, followed by a large crowd. The depot was surrounded by persons anxious to get a last view of the coffin. The train left at about 10 o’clock for Cleveland.
Syracuse Herald, Feb. 12, 1914 Has Pictures of Death Bed Scene of the President. Mrs. J.B. Martin of No. 410 Montgomery street has a copy of Frank Leslie’s illustrated newspaper, dated New York, April 29th, 1865, giving a full description of the assassination of President Lincoln, and the poem, “Abraham Lincoln,” by Edmund Clarence Stedman. The paper also contains a double page picture of the deathbed scene of Lincoln, giving a picture of every member of the cabinet and their names. Dr. Betts Recalls Funeral Train. The Rev. Dr. F.W.. Betts writes: “Childhood memories ae very unreliable in matters of detail, but impressions made when we are young last when we are older. I remember Lincoln’s funeral car as though I had seen it a little while ago. It must have been in the evening when it passed through the village where we lived. The main four corners of the village was a hundred yards from the station. The station was over a bridge on the further side of the track/ “On the near side of the track was a board fence without a gate or passage way. On this fence the village people, many of them leaned or stood as the train went past. Little and big, young and old, stood with bared heads. the solemnity of the scene sunk deep into my childhood mind and faded and perhaps it has had much to do in the development of the reverence for Lincoln which has become one of the ruling passions of my mature life.” Old Brakeman Tells of Train. An interesting reminiscence is that of Frank M. Tuck of Clyde. “I well remember forty-nine years ago when the Lincoln funeral train passed through Syracuse. I was a brakeman on a freight train that day that life Rochester for Syracuse. We had orders to come to s top when we met the pilot engine which ran ten minutes ahead of the funeral train, and remain standing until the funeral train had passed. All depots were draped in mourning. “Charles Simonds was the engineer of the pilot engine, No. 202. Engine No. 84 drew the funeral train, Jack Duff engineer. Our train met the funeral train at Memphis about 9:45 p.m. (Ed. note: Funeral train passed through Memphis at midnight. Engineer was George Brown). I also remember Feb. 18th, 1861, the day President Lincoln passed through Clyde on his way to his inaugural with the same engine, No. 84, and the same engineer, Jack Duff.” Says Brown was Engineer. George Brown of No. 250 West Brighton avenue is the son of John H. Brown the engineer that drew the inaugural train from Rochester to Syracuse. After that Mr. Brown enlisted in the army, 149th Regiment, Company E, in the year 1862. He was wounded July 20th, 1864 at Peach Tree Creek just before the battle of Atlanta and was honorably discharged March 28th 1865. He was also the engineer that drew Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train from Syracuse to Rochester and his wife and mother made the flags to drape the engine. The fact that Mr. Tuck and Mr. Brown agree so nearly in their account, but give different names of the engineer, make it probable that Engineer John H. Brown may have been nicknamed by his railroad friends, “Jack Duff,” and that it was he whom Mr. Tuck speaks of in his letter. F.H. DeWolfe’s Recollections. F.H. DeWolfe writes: “The passing of the Lincoln funeral train through Syracuse is one of the most vivid memories of my life. As a small lad I was taken by my parents to the old New York Central station which occupied the whole space of what is now Vanderbilt Square. Upon our arrival there we found the whole space filled with human beings, all eager to get close to the track upon which the train was to arrive. “I can remember that we climbed up on a baggage platform at the south side of the building and from there we could see over the heads of the people. “Our wait for the train was a long one but when the pilot engine with the caboose attached arrived, it was a very solemn moment, and upon the arrival of the funeral train, it seemed as though every person was awe stricken. “The car containing the remains was lighted and we could see people passing through. To a young cousin of mine had fallen the honor to go into the car with her father and place a bouquet upon the coffin, and this, of course, has always remained one of her cherished memories. “A few days later, the day of Lincoln’s funeral at Springfield, there was a great procession of people here in Syracuse. Almost everybody was in line and all stores, offices and houses were draped with black and white. I do not believe there ever was before or since such a feeling of loss as at the time of the death of Lincoln.”
Syracuse Post-Standard, Thurs., Feb. 12, 1914 Flags on Engine of Lincoln’s Funeral Train Made Here ___ Mrs. John H. Brown Sews them at Request of Husband. ___ Latter Piloted Martyr on Way to Presidential Chair and to His Grave ___ Mrs. John H. Brown, who lives with her son, George Brown, at 250 West Brighton avenue, is one of the residents of Syracuse who has reason to give especial attention to the observance of Lincoln’s birthday. Mrs. Brown and her mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Waterbury, made the flags which were used in decorating the engine which drew the funeral train from Syracuse to Rochester, and of which her husband was the engineer. Not only did Mr. Brown serve as the engineer of the funeral train between this city and Rochester, but he was the engineer on the train between the same points early in the spring of 1861 when Abraham Lincoln was on his way to Washington to take the presidential chair. It was not long after he had handled the Lincoln inaugural train that Mr. Brown enlisted in the 149th Regiment, Company E, and received an honorable discharge on March 28, 1864. He was wounded at Peach Tree Creek and just before the battle of Atlanta on July 20, 1864. After his discharge he returned to his home on South West street, this city, and resumed his duties as an engineer on the western division of the New York Central on April 4, 1865. He was selected to president at the throttle in handling the Lincoln funeral train on the night of April 26, 1865, on account of having engineered the inaugural train four years earlier, together with the fact that he had served in the war. As soon as he knew he was to have the train he asked his wife and her mother to make the flags which he used in decorating the engine. They had only a short time in which to perform the work. Early in the evening of the night that the funeral train passed through Syracuse Mrs. Brown and her mother went to the engine house to see the locomotive with its decoration made possible by their handiwork. Mrs. Brown said yesterday that it was one of the proudest days of her life. She is well and active at the age of 75 years. Her husband died six years go at No. 122 Hatch street.
Syracuse Post-Standard, Feb. 12, 1914 Floral Star, A Lincoln Tribute, Preserved Here ____ Taken from Casket on Funeral Train April 26, 1865, and presented to Lieutenant-Governor T.G. Alvord at Request of Mrs. Lincoln - Now in Possession of Mrs. J.A. Cheney. ____ In an interesting collection of relics Mrs. James A. Cheney, who lives at No. 105 West Adams street, inherited from her father, Lieutenant-Governor Thomas G. Alvord, known as “Old Salt,” is a floral star presented to him on he night of April 26, 1865, when the body of Abraham Lincoln passed through Syracuse on its way from Washington, D.C. to Springfield, Ill. The star was taken from the coffin and given to mr. Alvord at the request of Mrs. Lincoln. He sent it to New York, where it was placed in a state of preservation, and has remained in the family ever since without being disfigured in any way. In its transportation to New York the center of the star was broken and one artificial flower was placed to complete the piece. Mr. Alvord was serving as lieutenant-governor at the time of Lincoln’s assassination and death, and on the night the funeral cortege passed through Syracuse Mr. Alvord and his daughter drove to the station from their home the First Ward. Mrs. Cheney said yesterday that nothing ever transpired in her life that left a greater impression than the tribute Syracuse paid President Lincoln on this occasion. The train arrived from the east at 11:15 p.m. and left at 11:30. A great crowd gathered at the old station in Vanderbilt Square and business places and residences along East Washington street were draped with black and white bunting and American flags. Arrangements were made for the arrival of the funeral train by W.G. Lapham, superintendent of the western division of the New York Central, C.P. Clark and S.P. Rust. An impressive scene was the placing of the bouquet on the casket, which bore a card reading” The last tribute of respect from Mary Virginia Raynor, a little girl 3 years of age, Syracuse, April 26, 1865.”
Syracuse Herald, Thursday, Feb. 12, 1914 Served Generals on Train When Funeral Cortege Reached St. Johnsville ________ Mrs. Emma Randall Taber of Rome relates an interesting incident in connection with the Lincoln funeral train. She writes: At the time of Lincoln’s death we were living in the little town of St. Johnsville on the New York Central road. Although a small town, St. Johnsville had the largest restaurant on the Central road from New York to Buffalo. During the Civil War the traffic on the railroad was very heavy and all trains stopped at our town, where the passengers patronized this restaurant, which was run by a man whom we all called Colonel Cook. Some days three and four hundred people would have dinner there. One day an order came to serve dinner to the officers who were on President Lincoln’s funeral train. This order caused much excitement in our little village, everyone wishing for a sight of the great men. Our wish was granted by Mr. Cook inviting several of the young women to assist in serving the guests. We were asked to wear white dresses with black sashes, and of course each one tried to look her very best. The train arrived about 4 P.M. I was assigned to serve five generals, and you may be sure I put forth my best effort to serve them well. During the dinner one of the generals asked my name, wishing me to write it down for him, which I did, and thought no more of it. At the close of the dinner a message came saying that the young women who had served the guests so well were invited to go through the funeral car. This was considered a great honor, and we were escorted through a guard of soldiers to the car. Just inside the car was a small casket and when I asked one of the officers about it he said it contained the remains of Willie Lincoln, who died in 1862. We passed on into the center of the car, where, surrounded by several of his faithful generals who looked sad and careworn, was the casket containing the body of our beloved president. The car was draped in black, festooned with silver stars. It was too dark for me to read the inscriptions on the casket but one of the generals read it for me. “Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the United States,” etc. As we left the car some one called my name and upon turning I found it was the general who has asked my name at dinner. He gave me a small package and upon opening it I found one of the silver stars which had been among the decorations in the car. I had a sister living in London, England, at this time, and of course I sent her the papers, as they contained the news of our serving the dinner to the officers and also about my being presented with the silver star. She wrote back immediately saying she would like the silver star, so I sent it to her. The next spring I went to England and while visiting my sister saw the star in her library, mounted on black velvet and bearing below the words in white letters, “From the funeral car of President Lincoln, United States of America.” About a month after I returned home my sister died at Margate, and after a time I lost trace of her husband and was never able to get back the star, which was a great regret to me, as my children would give much to have it now. ___ Mrs. Taber says she had friends in Syracuse, Utica and Little Falls who remember these circumstances, one of them being Mrs. Amelia Collins of Syracuse, who was present at the time of the presentation of the star. Mrs. Taber said she did not know whether Mrs. Collins was alive now or not. Saw Funeral Train Pass Through Oneida ____ J.C. Mitchell Tells How Old 12-Pound Cannon Spread the Sad News J.C. Mitchell of No. 607 West Newell street, whose father was a soldier in the Civil War, and had died in November, 1864, has a lasting and distinct recollection of the passing of Lincoln’s funeral train, although it was in Oneida and not in Syracuse that he saw it. “Durhamville,” he says, “was the proud possessor of an old 12-pounder at the time of President Lincoln’s assassination, and on the day of the passing of the train, four horses were hitched to the gun and it was drawn to Oneida through the mud which was awful at that time of year. “Myself and a lot of other boys of my own age tramped behind through the mud, most of us bare footed. Our point of vantage at Oneida was on top of a pile of railroad ties directly opposite the station, where we sat and shivered until the train drew in. “The funeral car stopped directly in front us and we had an unobstructed view of the interior of the car. Long years have passed but that scene will never leave my memory. The casket draped with flags, the soldiers at each corner standing guard made a lasting impression. But I always wondered how the boys ever managed to fire that old gun as many times as they did in the short time the train was there.” _____ Mrs. John L. Bauer of No. 218 Fitch street tells the following story: “I was a very small girl forty-nine years ago when word reached Syracuse that the Lincoln funeral train would pass through the city and stop for a few minutes in the old station. My father and I left home very early in the evening and reached the station before the crowd began to gather. Father at once took a position on the edge of the raised platform next to the tracks upon which he train would pass. “Soon throngs of people filled the platform and station and also the windows and doors of buildings adjoining. It seemed at times as if we would be pushed down upon the tracks. After a long time the train pulled slowly into the depot. The funeral car stopped directly in front of us. “The car was lighted and because of the high platform we were able to look in at the open window. The coffin had been placed in the middle of the car and was covered with black drape, edged with gilt fringe. There were flowers, but I gave them little attention. I saw only the draped coffin and some of the soldier guards and the funeral drapery all along the outside of the train. “Long afterwards after I was married and had little children of my own, I learned that one of my neighbors, Addison Cornwell, had been one of the guards of honor who had accompanied the remains of the martyred president from Washington to Springfield. He told us that upon arriving arriving at their destination, the soldier guards had divided the pall and fringe among them. He gave me a small piece of each as a souvenir and i still have them in my possession.” Breathless Silence as Train Arrived. A correspondent who signs himself “J.V” writes: ”That memorable night, standing near the corner of the Globe Hotel, watching the sad throng that surrounded the old depot (now Vanderbilt Square), from where I had seen men shackled and taken back to bondage, I saw the scene changed and the great liberator and man honored and respected by all, silent in death, was to pass through to his last resting place. The pilot engine came slowly through the surging crowed, followed later by the funeral train. the tolling bell of the locomotive as it slowly entered the depot amid breathless silence, seemed to speak its mission as it bore our beloved president to his home again.” Day of Mourning for All Mrs. S. Manchester of No. 130 Englewood avenue writes: “I well remember the morning after Lincoln’s assassination. I was the first one to cary the news to my two sisters whose husbands were in the army and the day was one of mourning for us all. When the funeral car came through our city my husband went down to see the last of our dear martyred President and I stayed at home with my four little children but I could hear the bells tolling - it seemed as though they rang all night long.” Has Pictures of Death Bed Scene of the President. Mrs. J.B. Martin of No. 410 Montgomery street has a copy of Frank Leslie’s illustrated newspaper, dated New York, April 29th, 1865, giving a full description of the assassination of President Lincoln, and the poem, “Abraham Lincoln,” by Edmund Clarence Stedman. The paper also contains a double page picture of the deathbed scene of Lincoln, giving a picture of every member of the cabinet and their names. Dr. Betts Recalls Funeral Train. The Rev. Dr. F.W.. Betts writes: “Childhood memories ae very unreliable in matters of detail, but impressions made when we are young last when we are older. I remember Lincoln’s funeral car as though I had seen it a little while ago. It must have been in the evening when it passed through the village where we lived. The main four corners of the village was a hundred yards from the station. The station was over a bridge on the further side of the track/ “On the near side of the track was a board fence without a gate or passage way. On this fence the village people, many of them leaned or stood as the train went past. Little and big, young and old, stood with bared heads. the solemnity of the scene sunk deep into my childhood mind and faded and perhaps it has had much to do in the development of the reverence for Lincoln which has become one of the ruling passions of my mature life.” Old Brakeman Tells of Train. An interesting reminiscence is that of Frank M. Tuck of Clyde. “I well remember forty-nine years ago when the Lincoln funeral train passed through Syracuse. I was a brakeman on a freight train that day that life Rochester for Syracuse. We had orders to come to s top when we met the pilot engine which ran ten minutes ahead of the funeral train, and remain standing until the funeral train had passed. All depots were draped in mourning. “Charles Simonds was the engineer of the pilot engine, No. 202. Engine No. 84 drew the funeral train, Jack Duff engineer. Our train met the funeral train at Memphis about 9:45 p.m. (Ed. note: Funeral train passed through Memphis at midnight. Engineer was George Brown). I also remember Feb. 18th, 1861, the day President Lincoln passed through Clyde on his way to his inaugural with the same engine, No. 84, and the same engineer, Jack Duff.” Says Brown was Engineer. George Brown of No. 250 West Brighton avenue is the son of John H. Brown the engineer that drew the inaugural train from Rochester to Syracuse. After that Mr. Brown enlisted in the army, 149th Regiment, Company E, in the year 1862. He was wounded July 20th, 1864 at Peach Tree Creek just before the battle of Atlanta and was honorably discharged March 28th 1865. He was also the engineer that drew Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train from Syracuse to Rochester and his wife and mother made the flags to drape the engine. The fact that Mr. Tuck and Mr. Brown agree so nearly in their account, but give different names of the engineer, make it probable that Engineer John H. Brown may have been nicknamed by his railroad friends, “Jack Duff,” and that it was he whom Mr. Tuck speaks of in his letter. F.H. DeWolfe’s Recollections. F.H. DeWolfe writes: “The passing of the Lincoln funeral train through Syracuse is one of the most vivid memories of my life. As a small lad I was taken by my parents to the old New York Central station which occupied the whole space of what is now Vanderbilt Square. Upon our arrival there we found the whole space filled with human beings, all eager to get close to the track upon which the train was to arrive. “I can remember that we climbed up on a baggage platform at the south side of the building and from there we could see over the heads of the people. “Our wait for the train was a long one but when the pilot engine with the caboose attached arrived, it was a very solemn moment, and upon the arrival of the funeral train, it seemed as though every person was awe stricken. “The car containing the remains was lighted and we could see people passing through. To a young cousin of mine had fallen the honor to go into the car with her father and place a bouquet upon the coffin, and this, of course, has always remained one of her cherished memories. “A few days later, the day of Lincoln’s funeral at Springfield, there was a great procession of people here in Syracuse. Almost everybody was in line and all stores, offices and houses were draped with black and white. I do not believe there ever was before or since such a feeling of loss as at the time of the death of Lincoln.”
Baldwinsville Gazette, Feb. 13, 1964 Paper Reveals Lincoln Funeral Train Story An account of the Abraham Lincoln funeral train through New York State, in the possession of the late Miss Sophia Voorhees, was submitted for publication this week by her sister, Miss Lesley Voorhees. Miss Rachel A. Nichols, the daughter of Francis R. Nichols, sends the following account of Lincoln’s funeral to the Manning Manse Messenger, which is published quarterly by the Manning Association, 201 Brattle Building, Harvard Square, Cambridge, Mass., June, 1931. Miss Nichols was a teacher in the Primary school, Baldwinsville. Her father lived near Warners. “When father heard that the funeral train with the body of Abraham Lincoln would go through on the New York Central on its way to Springfield, Illinois, and that it would pass our little town at midnight, he sent word to all the men and boys, far and near, to get an old broom, and come to his barn. “They came. He had raised a crop of flax. They wound the brooms with the flax, and when the train came, stood not more than two rods apart on both sides of the track for nearly two miles. When the train was in the distance they dipped the brooms in kerosene, and when lighted they made a wonderful illumination. they thought the engineer slowed up when he saw it. “All the women and children of the whole country-side were down to the track. As the funeral car had glass sides, all saw distinctly the coffin with the flowers on it, and many were the tears shed as it passed. It was a memorable night, never to be forgotten during the lives of those who were there, a last memorial to a beloved President. “In the next issue of the New York Tribune, it said, ‘There were many demonstrations along the route of the funeral train in many cities passed through, but none exceeded the great illumination seen west of Syracuse, New York.” The above was part of a correspondence between Miss Nichols and Miss Mildred E. Manning, of Downer’s Grove, Ill., whose grandmother, Sarah Warner, who married Rockwell Manning in 1834 and lived in Waterloo, N.Y., before his removal to DuPage County, Illinois, in 1849, and built the “Manning House of the Middle West.” Susan Warner was Miss Nichols’ aunt.
Baldwinsville (N.Y) Gazette, March 12, 1964 Cleverley Recalls Cannon Firing at Jordan Tree Olin Cleverley, Warners resident, called The Gazette by telephone recently to remind residents of an incident that occurred at Jordan near the New York Central tracks at the time that the Abraham Lincoln funeral train passed through enroute between Washington, D.C., and the martyred president’s final resting place in his home state of Illinois. The story had been passed down through the years in Jordan that a group of crack artillerymen home on leave at Jordan fired a cannon as the Lincoln train passed through that community and that the ball from the cannon lodged in an elm tree on the Otis farm. When that tree was taken down, a piece of the tree containing the old cannonball was saved and kept in the old Jordan High School for many years. What brought the story to mind, Mr. Cleverley stated, was the recent article appearing in The Gazette which was a story appearing in the papers of the late Miss Sophia Voorhees of Baldwinsville which had described how residents living along the New York Central tracks at Warners had attached flax to sticks and soaked the flax in kerosene. When the Lincoln train passed through, the flax was lit and formed a colorful avenue of light in the darkness between which the funeral train passed. From: “My Memories of Eighty Years” by Chauncey M. Depew. New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1924 (P. 64) The tragedy of the assassination of Mr. Lincoln followed was followed by the most pathetic incident of American life - his funeral. After the ceremony at Washington the funeral train stopped at Philadelphia, New York, and Albany. In each of these cities was an opportunity for the people to view the remains. I had charge in my official capacity as secretary of state of the train after it left Albany. It as late in the evening when we started, and the train was running all night through central and western New York. Its schedule was well known along the route. Wherever the highway crossed the railway track the whole population of the neighborhood was assembled on the highway and in the fields. Huge bonfires lighted up the scene. Pastors of the local church of all denominations had united (P.65) in leading their congregations for greeting and farewell for their beloved president. As we would reach a crossing there sometimes would be hundreds and at others thousands of men, women, and children on their knees, praying and singing hymns. This continuous service of prayer and song and supplication lasted over the three hundred miles between Albany and Buffalo, from midnight until dawn.
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Chicago Rail Fair of 1948-1949. We have searched out tons of information available on this memorable event. Most of the railroads in the United States were represented, or exhibited. Union Pacific's Big Boy locomotive was one of the most popular exhibits. At this time, Chicago was the Rail Capital of the U.S.

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LCL on the New York Central On passenger trains, railroads operated lots of equipment other than sleepers, coaches, dining cars, etc. This equipment was generally called 'head-end' equipment, these 'freight' cars were at one time plentiful and highly profitable for the railroads. In the heyday of passenger service, these industries were a big part of the railroad's operations, and got serious attention.
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