Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lincoln's Funeral

I am working on the last chapter of First Fallen. I guess it ought to be called "Last Fallen," but it is just Chapter 15. It is the second of the flanking chapters, the first being the East Room after Ellsworth's funeral. This chapter is the East Room after Lincoln's funeral.

Lincoln lay in state for three days, then a day or so more in the Rotunda of the Capitol. After that, the famous Inaugural Train Ride was recreated, but backward, until Lincoln had returned to Springfield, where he was buried.

The hearse to the right was the first used in the series of ceremonies. It took the casket from the White House to the Capitol, and was drawn by six white horses. I found it interesting that Lincoln had to be re-embalmed several times from the time to his death to his final burial, or one of his final burials. He has been dug up at least once and reburied.

Oddly, Mrs. Lincoln did not attend any of the funeral services for her husband. She stayed in her bedroom, grief-stricken, for days. The Johnsons despaired of getting her out of the White House so they could move in. Not happy times for anyone, alas.

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