POTUS: Lincoln and Trains


Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Lincoln Train Museum



Plaque in honor of President Lincoln at 414 W. 30th Street in NY City

It is at the site of the Hudson River Railroad’s New York City passenger station. Lincoln arrived here February 19, 1861 on his route to be inaugurated in Washington DC as President of the United States. After his assination Lincoln’s body went through here April 25, 1865. The Hudson River Railroad became part of the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad and moved it’s main station to what became Grand Central Terminal. The old Hudson River Railroad line in the city became the West Side Freight Line.


Notes on the Lincoln Inaugural and Funeral Trains

Compiled by Richard Palmer

Syracuse Standard, Sat., Feb. 16, 1861

Time-Table of President Lincoln’s Special Train

The Time-Table for the Special Train which is to convey Mr. Lincoln from Buffalo to Albany on Monday next, is as follows

Leave Buffalo at 6 a.m.
Arrive Batavia, 6:30 a.m. Leave 6:35 a.m.
Arrive Rochester, 7:40 a.m. Leave 7:50 a.m.
Arrive Clyde, 8:50 a.m. Leave 8:55 a.m.
Arrive Syracuse, 10 a.m. Leave 10:05 a.m.
Arrive Utica, 11:30 a.m.Leave 11:35 a.m.
(No more stops until Albany, arrive there at 2:30 p.m.)

Syracuse Journal, Monday, Feb. 16, 1861

Cars for the President Elect

The Buffalo Courier says that in the Central Depot there stand side by side three cars designed to have the honor of transporting the President elect on his route to Washington. One is a sleeping car built for the New York Company at Troy, and containing all the comforts which could be imagined for a movable bed chamber.

Another is a regular passenger car, very handsomely fitted up, to say nothing of its beautiful appearance externally. The third is the car built by William Kasson, of Buffalo, for the State Line Railroad. It is fitted with luxurious seats after the plan of the Ray patent, so fixed that the passenger may either sit, recline or lie on its sumptuous velvet cushions.

A vacant space is left in the center for a table. At one end of the car is a large framed engraving of the U.S.. Senate of 1850, and a rack immediately beneath is filled with China urns and dishes of various kinds. Over the State Line and Central roads the President elect will experience almost as much luxury in his travel as was enjoyed by the Prince of Wales last fall.

Syracuse Standard, Friday, April 21, 1865

The Route The President’s Remains Are To Go

We published on Wednesday morning a dispatch from Washington saying that the remains of President Lincoln were to come by way of New York, &c., and would pass through here on the night of the 26th. On Wednesday afternoon a telegram was sent by Secretary Stanton saying that the remains would go by way of the Pennsylvania Central Railroad. But later, another “official” dispatch was sent by Secretary Stanton, as follows:


War Department, Washington, April 19. – 11 P.M.
To Maj. Gen. Dix:

It has been finally concluded to conform to the arrangements made yesterday for the conveyance of the remains of the late President, Abraham Lincoln, from Washington to Springfield, via by way of Baltimore, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, New York, Albany, Buffalo, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis and Chicago to Springfield.

(Signed) E.M. Stanton,
Secretary of War

Syracuse Standard, Saturday, April 22, 1865

Photograph Views of the Funeral Assemblage. – Bonta & Curtiss, as also Knapp & Marble, both in the Franklin buildings, on Wednesday when the great multitude were in Hanover Square doing homage to the lamented martyr-President, photographed the scene. Each have a view while the Rev. Dr. Canfield was in act of prayer, and another while Mr. Sedgwick was delivering the eulogy. They are spirited pictures, in which the features of many citizens are remarkbly well defined, and recognizable at a glance. These photographic views will be well worth preserving, as exhibiting the great sentiment of this community upon this peculiarly solemn occasion. Copies may be had at either of the galleries.

Syracuse Courier & Union, Monday, April 24, 1865

The Remains of President Lincoln

It is now definitely ascertained that the remains of the late President Lincoln will pass through this city on their way westward, on Wednesday night, at fifteen minutes past eleven o’clock, on a special train which will stop here fifteen minutes. Two special trains will run over the New York Central Railroad on this occasion – the first a pilot train, which will run ten minutes head of the second train [which will bear the remains and the escort,] and will make sure that the track is clear and in order.

No train from either direction will be allowed to run within twenty minutes of the time of these special trains. The speed of the special train will average about twenty miles an hour. Superintendent Lapham has issued a special time table for these trains, from which we learn that the train with the remains and escort will run from this city to Rochester as follows: Leave Syracuse at 11:30 on Wednesday night, Warners 11:54. Memphis 12, Jordan 12:14, Weedsport 12:25, Port Byron 12:40, Savannah 1:00, Clyde 1:15, Lyons 1:35, Newark 1:50, Palmyra 2:15, Macedon 2:27, Fairport 2:51, and arrive at Rochester at 3:20 Thursday morning.

Syracuse Standard, April 24, 1865

Remains of President Lincoln

The train bringing the remains of the late President Lincoln will reach here at fifteen minutes past eleven o’clock, on Wednesday night, and remain 15 minutes only. It is a special train, and ten minute ahead of it is to run a special pilot train, time tables for which are made out, and other trains, in either direction, are not to be within 20 minutes of their time. The following is the time between here and Rochester: Leave Syracuse at 11:30 Wednesday night; Warners, 11:54; Memphis, 12:00; Jordan,12:14; Weedsport, 12:26; Port Byron, 12:40; Savannah, 1:00; Clyde, 1:15; Lyons, 1:35; Newark, 1:50; Palmyra, 2:15; Macedon, 2:27; Fairport, 2:51; and arrive at Rochester at 3:20 Thursday morning.

Batavia (N.Y.) Republican Advocate, Tues., April 25, 1865

The Program for the Transportation of President Lincoln’s Remains from Washington to Springfield.

The Railways over which the remains will pass are declared military roads, subject to the order of the War Department, and the railway, Locomotives, Cars and Engines engaged on said transportation will be subject to the military control of Brig. Gen. McCallum.

The funeral train will not exceed nine cars including baggage and hearse car which will proceed over the whole route from Washington to Springfield.

The remains will leave Washington at 8 a.m. of Friday the 21st; arrive at Baltimore at 10 a.m., leave Baltimore at 3 p.m., and arrive at Harrisburg at 7:20 p.m.; leave Harrisburg at 12 M. the 22d, and arrive at Philadelphia at 6:30 p.m.; leave Philadelphia at 4 a.m. of Monday the 24th, and arrive at New York at 10 a.m.; leave New York at 4 p.m. of the 25th, and arrive at Albany at 11 p.m.; leave Albany at 4 p.m. of Wednesday the 26th, and arrive at Buffalo at 10:10 the same day, and arrive at Cleveland at 7 a.m. of Friday the 28th.

Leave Cleveland at midnight same day and arrive at Columbus at 7:30 a.m. of Saturday the 29th; leave Columbus at 8 p.m. same day and arrive at Indianapolis at 7 .m. of Sunday the 30th; leave Indianapolis at midnight of the same day and arrive at Chicago at 11 a.m. of Monday, May 1st. Leave Chicago at 9:30 p.m., of May 2d, and arrive at Springfield at 8 a.m. of Wednesday May 3rd.

At the various points on the route where the remains ae to be taken from the hearse car by state and municipal authorities to receive public honors according to the aforesaid program, the authorities will make such arrangements as they may deem proper.

Syracuse Courier & Union, Tuesday, April 25, 1865

Reception of the Funeral Train

At the meeting at the City Hall last evening to arrange for demonstrations of respect to the funeral train of the late President, T.B. Fitch, Esq., was called to the chair, and F.A. Marsh appointed Secretary. The firing of minute guns and tolling of bells during the arrival, and departure of the trains, and adorning the depot with National Flags and drapery was thought advisable, and a committee consisting of W. G. Lapham, Z.L. Beebe, H.L. Duguid, C.P. Clark, Wm. A. Sweet and S.P. Rust, was appointed to carry it out and confer with General Green as to any military demonstration to be had.

The committee held a meeting last evening, at Mr. Lapham’s office, and made iniatory preparations. They request that all persons having National Flags (except those in the immediate vicinity of the depot), will bring them today to the office of the Water Works Company, in the rear of the Onondaga County Bank, fronting the depot.

It is desired that the mourning drapery be upon them, and each should be plainly marked, that the committee may make no mistakes in their return. It is also desired that persons having cambric that has been used for mourning drapery likewise bring that to the same place today and loan it for the occasion. The committee will see that all is returned.

Syracuse Courier and Union, Wed., April 26, 1865

Reception of the Funeral Train

The following order has been issued by Brig. Gen. John A. Green Jr.:
Headquarters, 24th Brigade, N.G.
Syracuse, April 24.
Special Order, No. 4.

The remains of Abraham Lincoln will pass through the city of Syracuse between the hours of eleven and twelve o’clock at night on the 27th inst., and that the proper military honors may be observed, it is ordered that Capt. Jacob Brand, commanding Battery A, cause to be fired minute guns, commencing when the train of cars containing the body shall enter the city limits and ceasing when the train shall leave the city limits. It is supposed that thirty minutes will cover the time embraced in this order.

By order of
John A. Green, Jr.
Brigadier General.
Milton H. Northrup,
Capt. and Aid-de-camp.

Many of the residents on Railroad Street contemplate decorating and illuminating their buildings in the evening.

Spirit of the Times, Batavia, N.Y., Sat., April 29, 1865

Mrs. Lincoln and her Husband’s Funeral

The N.Y. Tribune has “good authority for stating that Mrs. Lincoln was anxious from first to last to be permitted to proceed with the corpse of her husband to Springfield,Ill., by the shortest, possible route, with the least possible parade or delay. That she has been a second time overruled is a tribute to her kindness of heart at the expense of others’ consideration.” So we think we too.

(Mary T. Lincoln didn’t even attend the funeral in the White House, let alone any of the funerals along the route of the funeral train (which she was not on). She didn’t attend the funeral on Springfield on May 4, either. She remained confined in the White House until May 22; then she departed for Chicago.

Mary Todd Lincoln was a woman of fragile sensitivity, though she also could be strong willed in the own way – redecorating the White House with huge cost overruns while the Civil War was cooking. . . she made lots of trips to NY and Phily on the B&O to buy ‘flub dubs for this damned old house ” as Abe would say.

But all she wanted was to ‘bring him home;’ to Springfield ASAP after the assassination. She had had more than enough of Washington and standing on ceremony by then. But she ultimately gave in to the powers that be who planned that long, slow journey back to Illinois for Lincoln and a grieving nation. The dead president had become much more than simply her late husband and father to their children.

However, I can see her desire to make that funeral trip as short as possible for other unsaid reasons. Embalming back then wasn’t the greatest, and even at that I think Lincoln’s and little Willie’s caskets had to sit on blocks of ice. With the warmth of spring and aboard a slow moving train, bodies would continue to decompose and give off unpleasant odors, even over all the floral tributes showered upon the procession from DC to Springfield. Sensitivities of the day would not dare mention such publicly but almost eveyone could figure it out.)

Much of Mary’s time was spent in negotiations to make sure Abraham was buried in a manner consistent with both his and her wishes. Mary received a lot of “advice” on where President Lincoln should be buried. Benjamin B. French, Commissioner of Public Buildings, submitted a resolution to the Congressional Committee on Obsequies requesting that Lincoln be buried in the rotunda of the Capitol. Other recommendations received by Mary Lincoln included the Congressional Cemetery in Washington and a proposed burial in New York City. Additionally, Robert T. Lincoln and Judge David Davis suggested to Mary that Chicago was the most appropriate place of burial.

BUT, near the end of the war, during a carriage ride with her husband along the banks of the James River, Mary reported that Abraham had said, “Mary you are younger than myself. You will survive me. When I am gone, lay my remains in some quiet place like this.”

Thus, Mary agreed to a Springfield burial. The “town fathers” in Springfield wanted President Lincoln to be buried on a piece of property in the heart of town. Mary objected vehemently because Abraham had expressed a desire before he died to be buried in a quiet rural setting. Thus, Mary wanted him buried in the new Oak Ridge Cemetery, a rural cemetery a few miles north of Springfield. Another reason for this, in addition to Mr. Lincoln’s expressed wishes, Mary was worried there wouldn’t be room for herself and her sons to be buried next to Abraham if the “heart of town” location was selected. Eventually Mary Todd won out, and Oak Ridge it was!

Syracuse Journal, April 27, 1865

The following dispatch was sent from this city by one of the agents of the Associated Press on board the funeral train: –
“Syracuse, Wednesday, April 26.
The funeral cortege arrived at Syracuse at 11:50 P.M. Thus far no accident has occurred. Although it is raining, there are at least thirty five thousand people witnessing the passage of the train at this place. The firemen are drawn up in line, and their torches and the numerous bonfires light up the scene solemn. Bells are tolling, and cannons booming.”

The blunders in this beautiful telegraphic effusion average somewhat less than one a line. The cortege reached here, not at ten minutes before twelve, but at five minutes past eleven; it was not raining at the time of the arrival; there were not thirty-five thousand people witnessing the passage of the train; the firemen were not drawn up in line; there were no torches; and there were no bonfires. The reporters of the Associated Press, during the stay of the train in this city, were comfortably slumbering on the soft couches of the new sleeping cars, and knew about as much of the ceremonies here as they did of contemporary transactions on the planet Saturn.

Syracuse Courier and Union, Thursday, April 27, 1865

Arrival of Mr. Lincoln’s Remains last Evening
Honors to the Dead
Appropriate Decorations at the Central Depot
Minute Guns Fired
Tolling of Bells
Thousands in Attendance.

Notwithstanding the drizzling rain that fell during last evening, and past midnight, thousands of citizens were in attendance at the Depot in this city, to pay the last mark of respect, with those of our sister cities, in the generally arranged obsequies of the late president.

As early as eight o’clock the Depot was thronged by those who were eager to obtain a position as the train came in, and the crowd was so great as to preclude others from entering. The gabble of language was anything but harmonious from so many throats, and those occupying the best positions, from which they could not be driven except by the discharge of a park of artillery, were easily driven under the shelter of the depots friendly roof, by a smart shower of rain.

As soon as the funeral train emerged from the Tunnel, about mile east of the city, minute guns commenced to be fired under direction of Capt. Brand, Commanding Batter A, by order of Brig. Gen. John A. Green, Jr., promulgated for the past two days. At the firing of the first gun, the City hall bell and the Church bells were tolled, and this programme was kept up while the funeral train remained in the depot, and until it had passed the city limits Westward.

The train stopped here but about thirty minutes, and the crowd that collected in and about the Depot, as well as along the sidewalks, even at the late hour of a dark and dreary midnight, was immense. The Depot itself was most appropriately draped, inside and out, and presented such an appearance as no other occasion since its erected called for. Festoons of black and white depended from its eastern and western gables, and the entrance of the funeral car at the eastern portico was flanked by two large flags bordered in mourning, and suspended from the St. Charles Hotel and the Sherman House.

Inside the depot, the interior display was most solemn and imposing.

Numerous flags were tastefully drooped from both sides, occupying appropriate distances between the ascending wooden columns to the roof. The intervening spaces were filled with tall tamarack evergreens, the trees having been freshly cut for that purpose in the early part of the afternoon. Immediately underneath the flags were festoons of white and black crape, looped up in such a manner as to give a solemn effect to the entire drapery. Taking this in connection with numerous lights that glittered within, and the large multitude gazing upon the solemn scene, nothing like it may ever be expected to be witnessed here again, and most profoundly do we regret the scene we were called to gaze upon last night! Two large and brilliant Reflectors were placed at either end of the Depot, giving a full view of the magnificent Funeral car and its somber decorations, which we give below.

The Funeral Car.
The funeral car by which the remains were carried in the procession is a most superb piece of mechanism. – The main platform is 14 feet long, 8 wide and 15 high. On this platform which is five feet from the ground, is a dais six inches in height, on which the coffin rests. About the dais is an elegant canopy, supported by four columns curving upward at the center and surmounted by a miniature temple of Liberty. The platform is covered with black cloth, which falls at the sides nearly to the ground, and is edged with silver bullion fringe. Festoons of black cloth also hang from the sides, festooned with silver stars and also edged with silver bullion. The canopy is trimmed in like manner with black cloth festoons and spangled with silver bullion. The corners were surmounted with a rich plume of black and white feathers. At the base of each column are three American flags, slightly inclined, festooned and covered with crape. The Temple of Liberty is represented as deserted, having no emblems of any kind in or around it, except a small flag on the top at half mast. The inside of the car is lined with white satin flutia. From the center of the roof is suspended a large eagle with outspread wings, having in his talons a laurel wreath. The platform round the coffin was strewn with flowers.

The Coffin.
As the Coffin was removed in the car containing it, its splendor and magnificence for the first time became visible to the spectator, and its magnificence could not be surpassed. Its entire cost was about $2,000, and it is probably the most perfect and finished thing of the kind ever manufactured in this country. The material used in the construction is mahogany, which is lined with lead. The inside of the coffin is lined with box-plaited satin, the pillow and lower surface is of the finest description of white silk, and the whole is surrounded with chenille, as in fringe. The inside of the face lid is raised with white satin, the entire center piece is trimmed with black and white silk braid, fastened at the four corners with silver stars.

The upper third of the lid is thrown back so as to reveal the head and bust. The most rich and costly description of black cloth covers the outside. It is heavily fringed with silver, having four silver medallions on either side, in which are set the handles. All along the sides it is festooned with massive silver tacks, representing drapery, in each fold of which glitters a silver star. The edges are decorated with silver braid, having tassels each five inches in length. Upon each side are four massive handles, also of silver, and at the head and foot are stars of the same material. On the top is a row of silver tacks, extending the whole length a few inches from the edge. In the center is a silver plate, on which is the inscription:

Sixteenth President of the United States,
Born July 12, 1809
Died April 15, 1865

This is enclosed by a shield formed of silver tacks. The whole thing is really beautiful, and finished with excellent good taste and fine workmanship.

Appearance of the Corpse.
Death has fastened into his frozen face all the character and idiosyncrasy of life. he has not changed one line of his grave, grotesque countenance, nor smoothed out a single feature. The hue is rather bloodless and leaden but he was always sallow. The dark eyebrows seem abruptly arched; the beard, which will grow no more, is shaved close, save the tuft at the short, small chin. The mouth is shut, like that of one who had put the foot down firm, and so are the eyes, which look as calm as slumber.

The collar is short and awkward, turned over the stiff elastic cravat, and whatever energy or humor or tender gravity marked the living face is hardened into its pulseless outline. No corpse in the world is better prepared according to appearances. the white satin around it reflects sufficient light upon the face to show that death is really there; but there are sweet roses and early magnolias, and the balmiest of lilies strewn around, as if the flowers had begun to bloom even upon his coffin.

How the Body was Embalmed.
Three years ago, when little Willie Lincoln died, Doctors Brown and Alexander, the embalmers or injectors, prepared his body so handsomely that the President had it twice disinterred to look upon it. The same men, in the same way, have made perpetual these beloved lineaments. There is now no blood in the body, it was drained by the jugular vein and sacredly preserved, and through cutting on the inside of the thigh the empty blood vessels were charged with a chemical preparation which soon hardened to the consistence of stone. The long and bony body is now hard and stiff, so that beyond its present position it cannot be removed any more than the arms or legs of a statue. It has undergone many changes. The scalp has been removed,the brain scooped out, the chest opened, and the blood emptied. All his we see of Abraham Lincoln, so cunningly contemplated in this splendid coffin, is a mere shell, an effigy, a sculpture. He lies in sleep, but it is the sleep of marble. All that made this flesh, vital, sentiment, and effectionate is gone forever.

Here is the transcribed account from the Oswego paper. You will notice that it really doesn’t tell you who went, but gives an interesting description. Unfortunately, the very bottom of the newspaper page had suffered from bleed-through from the previous page, thus rendering some of the words illegible on the microfilm. That took a lot of sizing up & down & switching from positive to negative to read what I could. Even so, enjoy this observer‚s account of a truly moving moment in our history.

Oswego Daily Palladium
April 27, 1865
pg 2, col 6 – pg 3, col 1

Fitting Honor to the Illustrious Dead
Syracuse, April 27, 1865-12 1/2 am

Dear Pall:
— The Funeral train has passed! All that remains on earth of Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States during the severest trial our country has ever known, has just left the city on its way to Springfield, Illinois. The hour is a solemn one, and suggests serious thought. Four years ago last February, Abraham Lincoln passed through this city on his way to Washington to assume his duties as President. The train stopped a few minutes to gratify the curious crowds; the President elect made a short speech, half serious, half factious; and the train passed on with its distinguished passenger who was to guide the Ship of State throughout the rough breakers of secession and civil war, into the quiet harbor of peace. Tonight his body, cold in deaths embrace, stricken down by an assassin’s foul shot, has passed through the city on its way to the grave. But I will not indulge in reflections.

The regular train which left Oswego at four o’clock, brought a goodly number of passengers who wished to pay their respects to the honored dead. Pursuant to the resolution of Tuesday evening, introduced by Ald. Parker, His Honor the Mayor and Common Council came up on the four o’clock train. Our party was received on our arrival by His Honor, Wm. D. Stuart, Mayor of the City, and by him conducted to comfortable quarters at the Syracuse House. We found a large number of public and private buildings draped in mourning, and preparations in progress for such demonstrations as were consistent with the lateness of the hour and the short time that the train would remain at the depot. The special train which left Oswego at 6 o’clock, brought five coaches filled with citizens of Oswego and other places along the line of the road. There seemed to be a large representation from the rural district about this city, and the streets during the evening until the arrival of the train were literally filled with men, women and children. The depot was very beautifully and appropriately draped in black and white, and trimmed with American Flags, while on either end, the outside were [sic] large lights with powerful reflectors which shed a brilliant light for a long distance up and down the Railroad. The train was due at 11:15. At 11:05, a pilot train consisting of an engine and one coach, made its appearance and passed by. Fifteen minutes later, at 11:20, the train conveying the body of the President entered the depot. There was an immediate rush made for the coach containing the coffin, but a guard was stationed to prevent any entrance.

A Brass Band played a dirge, a large choir of ladies and gentlemen sang, minute-guns were fired by a squad of men near the depot; and although the crown was so dense that one could not control his movements, I observed that many involuntarily uncovered their heads when the train entered the depot. The scene was truly solemn and impressive. I can not give you an adequate description of the train. The engine was a model for size and beauty. The train consisted of seven coaches and provided with sleeping apartments, saloon, parlors, &c., for the accommodation of the escort. The entire train was handsomely draped in black and white crape [sic], festooned with gold rosettes and tassels. In a black walnut coach, the one next to the rear, lay the coffin containing the remains of our late President. On the rear platform of this coach stood Adjutant General Townsend, directing the guard in their duty in preventing the entrance of the curious, respectful, serious crowd of persons, who were disappointed in not being able to catch one glimpse of the face or coffin of the President. I had a desire to enter the car, and accordingly thinking that an effort could result in nothing worse than a failure, assayed to pass the guard by a gentle push and a pleasant smile, and he gave way. I stepped upon the platform where Gen. Townsend stood and he moved aside for me to pass and I entered the car — being the only man in that crowd numbering thousands who was so fortunate to gain admission. When I stepped upon the floor of the car and saw the coffin, I experienced a sensation indescribable. The full weight of the circumstances causing the Nation such grief arose vividly before me and my feelings were indeed awful in the extreme. The coffin was closed and I did not see the face of the dead. It was covered on the top and sides with beautiful wreaths and bouquets of white flowers. Passing along to the front end of the car, I viewed a table covered with black cloth on which were piled immense [illeg.] bouquets and wreath of white flowers [illeg.] a card attached bearing an appropriate inscription, and in some cases [illeg.] of the one whose hands had prepared the token of respect. The one [illeg.] inscribed ”To the memory of our much loved and honored President; Whom God loveth He [illeg.]

After remaining 15 minutes, the train moved on its way and the people went to their homes. It was a sad event in our Nation’s history which caused them to assemble. The train was in charge of Major General Slocum.

Yours, B.

Syracuse Standard, Thursday, April 27, 1865

Departure of the Funeral Train for the West.

Albany, April 26. – The remains were conducted to the New York Central Depot by a large procession of civilians and military, amid the tolling of bells and firing of minute guns, with the solemn sound of music, and at about four o’clock we started on our mournful journey. The pilot engine is the “C. Vibbard,” with one car attached, and the engine which draws the train is the “Edward H. Jones.” The latter is draped in a handsome manner, by the master mechanic of that name, who will accompany the train to Utica, with Peter Arthur as the running engineer.

Three coaches and a baggage car were also furnished by the New York Central Railroad Company. These are appropriately costumed under the direction of Joseph Homes, the Superintendent of the Car Department at West Albany, partly from designs of J. F. Lawrence. Mr. Jones sends a mechanic named James Coyle, as far as Buffalo, provided with tools to make repairs should any become necessary.

There are three new and elegant sleeping cars furnished by the New York Central Railroad Company, by W. Wagener, General Superintendent, to be conducted by L.T. Chamberlain. The conductor of the entire train is Homer P. Williams. H.W. Chittenden, General Superintendent of the New York Central Railroad, accompanies the train to Buffalo.

Syracuse Journal, April 27, 1865

Last night was a night memorable to every living inhabitant of Syracuse – a night memorable to every man and woman and child who shall hereafter be a living inhabitant of Syracuse.

For it linked the name of our city with the most marvelous and the most mournful pageant opf history. Slowly and solemnly, to the sound of tolling bell and saluting gun, and amid the grief of a people, there passed through our town last night the remains of him whom not one age, one nation or one race alone delight to honor, but whom all ages, all nations and all races shall hold in eternal remembrance.

The route of this national procession, from the political Metropolis of the Republic to that remote Capital of the west, will forever possess a sad charm in the eyes of posterity. The cities that stud that long and mournful line, will forever glow with a melancholy brilliancy – a reflection of the lustrous fame of Abraham Lincoln, shining through all the annals of time.

Syracuse Standard, Thursday, April 27, 1865

The Funeral Train in Syracuse

The old Central Depot never looked so well inside as it did last night. On the south side national flag, draped in mourning, hung as at each alternate brace, festooned down to the post quite close, because the train comes in on this side; and along the face of the building are festoons of black and white. On the north side the same number of national flags hung more freely, richly draped, and in front of each was a graceful festoon of black and white pendant from the high beams overhead.

All along both sides evergreens were placed so as to show off the flags and drapery to best advantage. In addition to the gas lights there were locomotive head lights on either side at both ends, raised about ten feet from the ground, which gave a fine effect to flags and decorations of mourning. Also, on the outside of both ends of the building were head lights, so that the train was plainly visible.

The committee are entitled to much credit for the taste displayed and the work accomplished, especially Messrs. W.G. Lapham, C.P. Clark and S.P.Rust, who gave it their personal attention. All along Railroad street the dwellings and places of business were draped with black and white. Several buildings were also illuminated, and in front of the Standard Office was a head light.

About six o1clock a drizzling rain set in, growing to quite a shower, but nevertheless at half-past eight the crowd began to assemble, and long before eleven there was a jam – men, women and children, all anxious to have a glimpse of the car that contained the remains of the lamented President who had fallen a martyr for his love of country. The rain came by fits and starts but rain could not drive the anxious people from the desired sight.

Promptly at 11:05 the Pilot train arrived – locomotive No. 4, T.Harrett, engineer, Wm. Evarts conductor – which made the anxiety to see still greater. the depot was filled, and the street for considerable distance both east and west of it, and the railroad tracks were literally covered. As the Pilot arrive the bell began to toll and minute guns to fire.

The funeral train, drawn by locomotive Major Priest, (89) J. Vrooman, engineer, H.P. Williams conductor, arrived at 11:15, and so great was the anxiety to be close at hand, that it seemed almost impossible to get the crowd back for it to pass through into the depot. The engine was beautifully trimmed in mourning as were the baggage car and coaches, but we have not time this morning to attempt description. The Hearse car was the eighth in the train, and the rear one, containing the committee from Washington, both were the same that started from Washington. They are magnificent coaches elaborately and tastefully trimmed.

As the train came to a halt the Band played a dirge. There was a general rush toward the Hearse car, for therein lay the mortal remains of the now immortal Lincoln. It was with much difficulty that the Police and Veteran Reserve Squad could stay the tide of Pressure, and yet everyone forbore words of complaint.

When the Band ceased its dirge, choristers to the number of sixty or seventy, under direction of Mr. Durston, sang an appropriate anthem, and then the Band again took up the dirge till the departure, up to which time the crowd continued as dense; but all was quiet, orderly, solemn. At 11:20 the Pilot train – locomotive 202, R. Simons, engineer; N. C. Griffin, conductor – left. Meantime locomotive 248, handsomely decorated, hitched to the funeral train J. Brown, engineer, Samuel Hildreth, conductor – and at 11:30 started, the great mass uncovering as it passed along. It was a scene never to be forgotten. There must have been full fifteen thousand people present.

R.W. Chittenden, Esq., General Superintendent, and Z.C. Priest, Assistant Superintendent, were on the train. Mr. Chittenden went forward with it.

Palmyra Courier, Friday, April 28, 1865

The Funeral Train.

The funeral train, carrying west the body of the late President, passed this station at 2:15 Thursday morning. The train stopped at this station ten minutes, and a large number of our citizens (including a few ladies) were at the Depot. Of course there was nothing to be seen but the Hearse and nine cars, which were viewed with solemn interest. The funeral train was preceded by a pilot engine, in order to guard against any possibility of accident. The remains of the President were not exposed to view until they reached Buffalo where they laid in state three hours.

Spirit of the Times, Batavia, N.Y.,Sat., April 29, 1865

The Funeral Train at Batavia.

Punctual to the minute the train bearing the remains of the late President arrived at Batavia Thursday morning. Although the hour was pretty early, thousands had assembled at the depot long before the appointed time, longing to catch a glimpse of what bore all that was early of the Chief Magistrate. The depot was most tastefully draped in mourning, the large National flag hung in mournful festoons on the east end of the building, clothing it in mourning habiliments.

Those who had observed the drapery on most of the depots through which the train passed, conceded that the Batavia station was more elaborately finished than than other, with the exception of Syracuse, upon which extra work had been spent. The credit of the decorations is due to Messrs N.T. Smith and E.P. Ferren, who, with the assistance of some ladies, deserve many thanks for their labors in draping the depot with such exquisite tastefulness.

The evening previous a delegation from Buffalo arrived, consisting of the following gentlemen; Hon. Millard Fillmore, Hon, James Sheldon, Hon. I.A. Verplanck, Hon. P. Dorsheimer, Hon. I.G. Masten, John Wilkeson, Hon. F.P. Stevens, S.H. Fish, Henry Martin, S.S. Jewett, who with the Batavia delegation joined the train on its arrival here.

Upon a platform erected in front of the depot a large choir of ladies and gentlemen were stationed, who sang two touching funeral dirges, the entire crowd standing with uncovered heads, while the cars remained at the station.

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 head lights 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 flags, and another still surmounted the sand box. The hand rails were neatly adorned with festoons of black and white, tasteful rosettes, The cab was draped with the national colors.

But the chief attraction of all, was the funeral car, which has borne the remains thus far from Washington, and is designed to bear them to the hero’s western home was built by B. P. Lamason of Alexandria, for the United States Military Railroad, and was intended for the use of the President and other dignitaries when traveled over the military road.

It contains a parlor, sitting room and sleeping apartment, all of which are fitted up in the most approved modern style. Around the top of the state-room small panels are fixed, upon which are painted the coats-of-arms of each State. The car has sixteen wheels, eight on each side.

Black curtains have been placed at all the windows. Inside and out, the car robed in black, the mourning outside being festooned in two rows, above and below the window, while between each window is a slip of mourning connecting the upper with the lower row. A deep silver fringe also the edge of the roof, and he festoons of crape are looped over each window with a silver star and a large silver tassel.


Ghosts: Abraham Lincoln’s Ghost Train — Soul Reaper Paranormal

Published December 16 2017 by Janowrite

Here is a wonderful account of the famous ghost train of Abraham Lincoln, with some chilling details you may not have heard!  Thanks to Soul Reaper Paranormal blog.


In April every year since his death, a phantom ‘ghost train’ is reported travelling along the tracks, and on the same route which was taken by the official funeral train. However, this train never reaches its destination.

Reports of the phantom train have appeared in many major newspapers, New York’s Evening Times reported once, that the train passes noiselessly, and that when it is moonlight, clouds appear and cover the moon.

Once the pilot train has come to pass, the funeral train itself, complete with flags and streamers, comes rushing past. It is as if the tracks become covered with a black carpet, and the coffin can often be seen in the center of the car. Also, large numbers of blue-coated men are seen in the air, on the car and even behind it.

It is also reported that all clocks and watches stop as this phantom train goes by, and when they are looked at the are usually around 8 minutes behind.

I find this tale truly fascinating on a personal level. To me, it seems like Abraham LIncoln’s soldiers are still watching over him.

via Abraham Lincoln’s Ghost Train — Soul Reaper Paranormal

For more ghosts, please see https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75



FDR Rides Home

While a lot of FDR’s trips from Washington to his home in Hyde Park, New York, went through New York City and up the east side of the Hudson, some where on the west side.

The normal routing during the war was B&O to Jersey City (Claremont Jct.), then New York Central’s West Shore (via National Docks RR) to Highland, NY, opposite Poughkeepsie, where autos would take him to Hyde Park.

One FDR special ran from Washington to Poughkeepsie via PRR-Bel Del branch-Lehigh & Hudson River to the New Haven. The express purpose was to stop at Allamuchy, NJ, on the L&HR.  Roosevelt debarked at Highland, NY, on the west side of the Hudson from Poughkeepsie; the Secret Service wasn’t enthusiastic over taking him across the Poughkeepsie bridge. The train then did proceed over the bridge.


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