The Capitol: Lincoln’s Funeral Train Procession Begins

The Capitol: Lincoln's Funeral Train Procession Begins

History: Covered in black drapes and carrying the mourning, Lincoln's funeral train procession began on April 21, 1865 at 8 a.m. from Washington's Baltimore and Ohio Railroad depot, six days after he lost his life. The depot stood in view of the Capitol. Before Baltimore was reached, Governor Bradford was picked up in Annapolis Junction to join the mourning procession.

President Abraham Lincoln's funeral train consisted of nine cars, eight of which carried Lincoln's 300 person funeral entourage, the ninth being the "Presidents car." This car was outfitted for presidential transport with all of the amenities of home. The journey served another purpose, to carry the body of his son Willie Lincoln, who died of Typhoid fever, to their home in Springfield, Illinois via the reverse of Lincoln's inaugural train journey to Washington in 1861. There were many places planned by Lincoln's family and staff to stop in order for United States citizens to catch one last glimpse of their beloved reconstructive president.

More to Explore: The Capitol building’s construction began during George Washington’s presidency and was completed during Lincoln’s term. Tour the Capitol Visitor Center then head to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, the Lincoln Memorial and Ford's Theatre for a full immersion in the Lincoln legacy. Stop by the African American Civil War Memorial en route to pay homage to those who lost their lives in the fight for the Union.

Photo Credits:

  1. "Drawing of President Abraham Lincoln on his deathbed, with mourning friends and family around him."
  2. "Photograph of President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral procession moving along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC."
  3. "Photograph of Governor Augustus Williamson Bradford."
  4. "Picture attributing John Wilkes Booth’s assassination of Abraham Lincoln to the influence of the pro slavery secret society, the Knights of the Golden Circle." Print courtesy of Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
  5. "Illustration of the Thomas Viaduct outside Relay, Maryland where Lincoln passed over by train." Courtesy of Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division, HABS.