Saturday, April 30, 2016

This Day in Indiana History - April 30, 1865 - Lincoln's Body Lies in State - Indianapolis



A Day in Indiana History - April


Southern sympathizer and actor John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre on April 15, 1865. It was just six days after General Robert E. Lee had surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Union General Ulysses S. Grant. The surrender effectively ended the Civil War that had raged across the nation for four years. After funeral services in the White House on April 19, 1865 after lying in state in the East Room of the White house on April 18.  After the funeral, an honor guard transported the casket holding the body to the Rotunda at the United States Capitol for a ceremonial service. The body lay in state on April 20. At 7:00 AM, an honor guard escorted the President to a waiting funeral train that would transport the President to Springfield, Illinois for burial. The funeral procession for President Lincoln began at 8:00 AM with around 10,000 people observing. The route the train would take would mirror the route he took on his journey to Washington DC from Springfield, Illinois on his inauguration journey in 1861. Before reaching Indiana, the train would travel through Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio. The President's son, Todd, who had died in the White House was disinterred and placed in the train for burial with his father.
Last Time in Indiana
The President reached the state he spent his boyhood in, crossing the Ohio Border into Richmond, Indiana at 7:00 AM, April 30, 1865. Indiana Governor Oliver P. Morton got on the train and accompanied the fallen President to Indianapolis, where Lincoln lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda. Thousands gathered to pay their last respects to the fallen President. Along the way, the train passed through various Indiana towns, including Centreville, Germantown, Cambridge, Knightstown and Charlottesville. Church bells tolled and crowds gathered to watch the solemn procession stream by. A heavy rain had accompanied Lincoln along the route. The rain prevented Governor Morton from delivering his public address. The train departed Indianapolis late in the evening and arrived at Michigan City, Indiana. At Michigan City, the train delayed while Chicago dignitaries gathered to board the train to accompany the President to Chicago. Local officials conducted an unscheduled funeral as they waited. The train departed Michigan City May 1, 1865 at 8:35 AM. Lincoln left Indiana, the place of his boyhood, for the last time. 

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