Friday, April 25, 2014

The Lincoln Funeral Train

A year ago, Gossips reported about the stop made in Hudson on April 25, 1865, by the Lincoln Funeral Train. Tonight, Gossips went to the historic train station in Stuyvesant to hear about what people there are planning for next year, to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the journey of the embalmed body of Abraham Lincoln from Washington, D.C, to Springfield, Illinois. 

The funeral train didn't stop in Stuyvesant. It stopped in Hudson. But Stuyvesant is preparing to reenact the vigil that took place along the tracks in 1865 when the train bearing Lincoln's body passed by, late at night, on its way to Albany. This is so admirable. It's Gossips' opinion that Hudson, too, should mark the sesquicentennial by reenacting what happened here on that night when the funeral train arrived at 9:45 p.m. The following account is from the journal kept by Adjutant General Edward D. Townsend, the commander of the funeral train, quoted in Bloody Crimes, by James Swanson:
At Hudson . . . elaborate preparations had been made. Beneath an arch hung with black and white drapery and evergreen wreaths, was a tableau representing a coffin resting upon a dais; a female figure in white, mourning over the coffin; a soldier standing at one end and a sailor at the other. While a band of young women dressed in white sang a dirge, two others in black entered the funeral-car, placed a floral device on the President's coffin, then knelt for a moment of silence, and quietly withdrew. This whole scene was one of the most weird ever witnessed, its solemnity being intensified by the somber light of the torches at that dead hour of night.

1 comment:

  1. I would love to help with this. We already have a script (see above) and I know we can be weird. Now who gets to play the lady in white ?