Page images

Vita. A body-guard of twenty-five sergeants and veterans of the reserve corps, under the command of Captain Campbell, surrounded the corpse.

Before the last sad notes of the funeral dirge were ended the coffin was raised on the shoulders of ten stalwart veterans, and the order of procession was formed. First walked General

Dix and General Sandford; next, four undertakers, and Colonel McMahon and Captain Lord, of General Dix's staff. Then came the corpse, flanked by the remainder of the body-guard, with drawn swords, and followed, in irregular order, by Generals Thompson, Assistant Adjutant-General, representing the Secretary of War; General Eaton, Commissary-General of Subsistence; General McCallum, Superintendent of Military Roads; Generals Barnard, Hunter, Howe, Ramsay, Caldwell, and Townsend; Admirals Bell and Davis; Senators Anthony, Cowen, Ramsay, and Williams; Congressmen, preceded by their Sergeant-at-Arms; Captain Taylor, United States Navy; Major Fields, United States Marine Corps; Lieutenant John White; the remainder of the Washington guard of honor and delegation; Hon. Chauncey M. Depew, Secretary of State of New York; the Mayor and Common Council of Jersey City; the delegations from Hoboken, Hudson City, Bergen and Greenville, and other officials and mourners. Moving down the north platform, at which the train was drawn up, towards the eastern end of the building, the procession wound round and moved up the next platform, and so out at the western entrance of the depot, the choral societies meanwhile singing the chorale, "Rest in the Grave."

The hearse was neat; the sides and back were of plate glass, and on the top were eight large plumes of black and white feathers. Around the edge of the roof and the lower portion of the body of the hearse were American flags folded, draped in mourning, gracefully festooned, and fastened with knots of white and black ribbons. It was drawn by six gray horses covered with black cloth, each led by a groom dressed in mourning.

A strong line of guards kept clear a broad and ample space for the procession. Outside their line a great and dense but serious and silent crowd was gathered. All were quickly on board the ferry boat New Jersey, and moving at once out of

the slip, she crossed without delay or accident to the foot of Desbrosses street.

Thus ended the reception at Jersey City, the most thrilling, as that at Newark was the most touching.


The scene there was most imposing, and could not fail to make a lasting impression upon the thousands who were congregated on the housetops and awnings for several blocks on each side of the ferry. The people commenced to collect at an early hour, and long before the police arrived every avail able spot was occupied along Desbrosses street, from West to Hudson streets. The window sashes of all the houses were removed, in order that the occupants might have an unobstructed view of the procession; and, as far as the eye could see, there was a dense mass of heads protruding from every window in the street. The fronts of the houses were tastefully draped with mourning, and the national ensign was displayed at half-mast from almost every housetop.

The Seventh Regiment, National Guard, Colonel Emmons Clark, which had been selected as the escort, arrived on the ground about half-past nine o'clock. The street, from its commencement at the ferry to its junction with Hudson street, was promptly cleared, and the space kept open until the arrival of the funeral party; three hundred policemen forming a double line from the ferry gate up to Hudson street.

A few minutes before eleven o'clock the firing of guns and the tolling of bells announced the near approach of the boat, and preparations were made for landing the remains of the honored dead amid a chant of the German Society. The anxiety of the people to obtain a view of the funeral was intense, and required the united exertions of the military and the police to preserve order.

Colonel Clark conferred with General Dix immediately upon the arrival of the boat, and arranged the order of the procession; and, on his return, formed his regiment into a hollow square, in the centre of which it was intended the funeral cortege should march. Every thing being in readiness, the procession started from the boat in the following order:


General Dix, General Sandford, Alderman Ryers, and other Military Officers and Civilians.

[blocks in formation]

Sergeants of the Invalid Corps.
Seventh Regiment.

Guard of Honor accompanying the Remains.

The procession passed up Hudson to Canal, thence through it and Broadway to the Park, entering on the eastern side.

At precisely 11.30 o'clock the head of the procession entered the east gate of the Park. The scene from the balcony at this moment was one never to be forgotten. Far off and near waved mournfully in the bright, balmy air, the draped colors of a sorrow-stricken nation. From every possible point of exhibition were flung to the view of scores of thousands, clean against the blue horizon, the red, white, and blue emblem of liberty, sabled with the sombre tone of mourning. On the right marched the Seventh. In front, reaching from the line of the police to the further verge of the Park, resting literally against the iron railings, stood an army of interested, anxious men and women, whose uncovered heads and upturned countenances resembled a quiet sea of expectancy; the double force of singers, bareheaded and ready for the dirge; the short line, fifteen in all, of venerable men who fought and bled in their country's cause half a century ago, lifted from their bald heads their hats, banded with weeds; the strong sun in mid-heaven sent down a summer heat; and the wind, which a few moments before whistled wildly along, burdened with clouds of

dust, hushed into a whisper, and breathed balmily on every spot. From distant batteries the cannon belched at each minute a thunder-tone of woe. From all the steeples came forth the wailing of bells, while from the spire of old Trinity floated upon the breeze the tuneful chimings of "Old Hundred."

Borne on the sturdy shoulders of the Veteran Reserve Corps, the coffin, with its sacred dust, was taken into the hall rotunda.

Meanwhile the eight hundred choristers without, chanted with fine effect and in perfect harmony the magnificent "Pilgrims' Chorus," from Tannhauser, and afterward as the solemn procession wound slowly along the spiral stairway, the singers gave the startling "Chorus of the Spirits," by Schubert. The interior of the rotunda presented at this moment a beautiful though mournful spectacle. The entire circle was covered up, representing a marque, the walls were formed of National, State, and city flags, extending from dome to level. Across these flags ran a winding chain of black paramatto, which formed a deep hem as it were, bordering the partitions made by the flags. At the rear of the rotunda, fronting the catafalque, was Carpenter's portrait of the late Mr. Lincoln, the frame studded with silver stars and edged around with black. The skylight was covered with black, causing a subdued light to pervade the interior, which was mellowed by the lights from two chandeliers on each side of an inclined plane at the head of the stairs, through which the light permeated by means of ground glass globes.

On this plane, which formed a portion of the catafalque, the coffin was placed; after which the troops retired, policemen were stationed at the head of either stairway, and sentries stood at all the doors.

The coffin resting on the plane formed a base line for the magnificent catafalque, which fronted on the rotunda, opening also into the Governor's Room. The front of the canopy presented the appearance of a dark square, on which rested an elliptical Gothic arch extending across the whole width of the square or parallelogram at the base of the arch. Its height from the peak of the arch to the base of the structure was twenty feet, the width ten feet, and the depth twelve feet. The exterior adornments were plain, elegant, and proper. The

summit or peak of the arch was topped by an eagle, in silver, which slightly relieved the sombre aspect of all. The wings were folded, the head or beak slightly drooped. In the centre, under the eagle, was a bust of Mr. Lincoln, also in silver. The base of the arch of the canopy was fine cloth. The two sides of the canopy were adorned with urns covered with black cloth. The drapery in front of the arch, inside, was lined with white silk. Inside the catafalque the black was unrelieved, save by the dots of silver stars here and there through the surface, and underneath, standing at the four angles, were marble busts of Washington, Webster, Jackson, and Clay. The interior covering was black cloth and velvet, the canopy overhead being lined with fluted cloth, radiating in folds from the middle to the sides. The rest was all plain black cloth or black velvet. The two pillars of the City Hall, standing on each side of the catafalque, were wrapped in the national colors, heavily draped with crape and black silk.

So soon as all was ready, Mrs. Charles E. Strong, accompanied by General Burnside, entered the catafalque, and placed on the coffin a most beautiful arrangement of flowers. On a ground, shield-shaped, of scarlet azalias and double nasturtions, was a cross of pure white, made of japonicas and orange blossoms—an offering as rich and beautiful, as it was chaste and simple.

As soon as the moment arrived for the admission of the public, the immense mass who had been waiting patiently for hours began to pour in.

Guided by the sentries and the police, the crowd pushed on at the rate, now of fifty, now of thirty a minute, averaging, perhaps, during the first watch, thirty-five a minute. Few words were spoken, few tears shed, but over all and pervading all was a deep tone of sympathy, of regret, of respectful regard for the President who had gone. A noticeable feature was the preponderance, at first, of young girls-shop girls, apparently, between the ages of sixteen and twenty.

To many there seemed, indeed, less feeling in New York than elsewhere, less sorrow, but not less respect.

From this time till it left the City Hall five officers were on watch, relieved every two hours. Among these many are illustrious for services in the late war. Generals Hunter, Peck,

« PreviousContinue »