The Lincoln Funeral Train

Lincoln Funeral Train, Michigan CityLincoln Funeral Train, Michigan City

 

Location: 100 E. Michigan Blvd. (U.S. 12), Michigan City, IN 46360 (Laporte County, Indiana)

 

Installed 2010 Indiana Historical Bureau and Indiana Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission

ID#: 46.2010.1

Visit Blogging Hoosier History to learn more about the Lincoln Funeral Train in Indiana.

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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 military; stops en route allowed the public to pay homage. 2 From Indianapolis, train passed mourners lighted by bonfires and torches along the way; arrived in Michigan City by 8:35 a.m., May 1.3

Residents decorated depot north of here with memorial arches adorned with roses, evergreens, flags, and images of Lincoln. 4 Train stopped to switch engines and to allow dignitaries from Illinois and Indiana to board. Sixteen women entered funeral car to place flowers on casket.5 Train left for Chicago on Michigan Central Railroad; track was lined with mourners.6

Annotations

[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] "The Funeral Cartage," Indianapolis Daily Journal, May 2, 1865 (B070433);

"The Progress of the Funeral Train," Chicago Tribune, May 3, 1865 (B070537); "The President's Funeral Obsequies," Indianapolis State Sentinel, May 2, 1865 (B070534); "The President's Obsequies," New York Times, May 2, 1865 (B070467).

The arrival times at Michigan City are listed as 8:25 a.m. or 8:35 a.m. One possible explanation for the difference was the military order requiring a pilot train to precede the funeral train by as much as ten minutes (B070537). Also, in 1865, there were no standard time zones. Railroads operated on local time which varied from city to city, and state to state. See Scott D. Trostel, The Lincoln Funeral Train, (Fletcher, Ohio, 2002), 165-66 (B070416).

 

[4] "The Progress of the Funeral Train," Chicago Tribune, May 3, 1865 (B070537); "The President's Obsequies," New York Times, May 2, 1865 (B070467).

 

[5] "The President's Funeral Obsequies," Indianapolis Daily Gazette, May 2, 1865 (B070534); "The Funeral," Chicago Tribune, May 2, 1865 (B070536); "The Progress of the Funeral Train," Chicago Tribune, May 3, 1865 (B070537); "The President's Funeral Obsequies," Indianapolis Daily Gazette, May 2, 1865 (B070534).

[6] "The Funeral," Chicago Tribune, May 2, 1865 (B070536).