Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

Donated by Richard Palmer.

Here is an interesting article detailing Lincoln's funeral train in 1865 - just 140 years ago. It details the stops through the Mohawk Valley.

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

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.

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