Page images
PDF
EPUB

Anderson, Van Vliet, St. George Cook, Meagher, Admiral Paulding, Commodore Ringgold.

All night long the tide of people poured on in great masses ; thinking that everybody else would avail themselves of the daytime, they had waited until night, and the consequence was that where there were thousands before, tens of thousands now stood helpless in the face of the impossible achievement before them. From the west gate of the Park twenty deep stood the crowd, three blocks long; down Murray street, twentyabreast, stood a second crowd, two blocks long; across Printing-house-square in masses, away up Chatham street until Mulberry street was touched, stood, not a crowd, but a deep dense

mass.

At 12 o'clock precisely, the members of the Concordia, Armonia Quartette Club, and German Club, all of Hoboken, some eighty in number, including the President, Hugo Menzel, and the leader, F. A. Sorge, moved from the Astor House, and were conducted to the rotunda by Sergeant Robinson, of the Twenty-sixth Precinct. Ranging themselves on the left of the stairway they gave forth a mighty volume of sound, harmonious in utterance, sublime in conception.

On the 25th of April, the metropolis took its final leave of the remains of Abraham Lincoln, and after a farewell more grand and imposing than any demonstration in the previous experience of this country, the sacred ashes started on their journey westward. New York may well feel proud of the display, and will never forget the great pageant, the magnitude and splendor of which no city in the world can ever excel. The formation of the procession began early, while yet a long line of people, some of whom had been attending on the pavement there all night, were steadily pushing their way forward towards the entrance of the City Hall for a hurried glimpse of the remains. No business was done in any part of the city, and everybody seemed bent either on finding his place in the ranks of the procession, or on getting a place to see it pass. Every window on Broadway and the other streets of the route was of course occupied by a dozen or so of spectators, those at which seats were to be sold finding eager purchasers at any price demanded. Every foot of sidewalk was lined along its edge with waiting men and women. Narrow cornices and ledges several stories high furnished seats for some whose elevated and seemingly dangerous positions made one dizzy even to look at. Platforms were erected on the sidewalks at frequent intervals, the seats on which were in great demand. Where the avenue traversed by the procession was intersected by cross streets, hacks, carts, and trucks were drawn up and afforded a large number of excellent seats. The sidewalks were packed from the curbstone to the wall with an assemblage which it required all the efforts of the large police force in attendance to keep from overflowing into the street, and all this long before the hour designated for the starting of the procession.

Meanwhile the eight divisions of which the column was to consist were assembling and forming in line in the different streets assigned for them. The military formed chiefly on Broadway, and before the procession moved the lines of soldiery extended from the City Hall the whole distance to Fourteenth street. In the narrow streets in the vicinity of the hall were arranged the component parts of the civic procession, and it seemed as if every court and alley was made the rallying point of some organization with its banner and long line of men in dark clothing. The omnibuses and coaches endeavoring to make their way up or down town were forced to take some very long detours on every trip, and sometimes found themselves completely surrounded by such throngs that they were compelled to give up the journey altogether. Men and women were still hurrying by the bier in the City Hall, where lay the silent corpse, for the escort of which through the city so many thousands were preparing.

The journeys, with the inevitable dust and frequent exposures to the air, had their effect upon the remains which no embalmers could wholly provide against, and the view for which many were so eager had none of those attractions which sometimes in vest the remains of the lost and loved.

At twenty minutes to twelve o'clock the doors of admission were closed, and, although at least one hundred and fifty thousand had been admitted, immense crowds were disappointed. Preparations were now made to close the coffin, Archbishop McCloskey being one of the last who gazed upon it. The appointed bearers took their places beside the coffin, and amid the brilliant crowd of Generals, Admirals, Consuls, and distinguished men awaited the moment. When it was near one o'clock, six of them raised it on their shoulders, and to the tolling of the bell and the tap of the drum the body was borne out again into the open air in sight of the countless thousands, and through the double line formed by the Seventh Regiment, to the funeral car prepared for the occasion. This was fourteen feet long at its longest part, eight feet wide, and fifteen feet one inch in height. On the main platform which was five feet from the ground, was erected a dais six inches in height, at the corners of which were columns holding a canopy, which, curving inwards and upwards towards the centre, was surmounted by a miniature temple of liberty.

The platform was entirely covered with fine black cloth, drawn tightly over the body of the car, and reaching to within a few inches of the ground, edged with silver bullion fringe. Over this hung graceful festoons of the same material, spangled with silver stars, and edged also with silver bullion. At the base of each column were three American flags, slightly inclined, festooned, covered with crape. The columns were black, covered with vines of myrtle and camelias.

The canopy was of black cloth, drawn tightly, and from the base of the temple another draping of black cloth fell in graceful folds over the first; while from the lower edges of the canopy depended festoons, also of black cloth, caught under small shields. The folds and festoons were richly spangled and trimmed with bullion. At each corner of the canopy was a rich plume of black and white feathers.

The temple of liberty was represented as being deserted, having no emblems of any kind in or around it save a small flag on top, at half mast. The inside of the car was lined with white satin, fluted, and from the centre of the roof was suspended a large gilt eagle, with outspread wings, covered with crape, bearing in its talons a laurel wreath, and the platform around the coffin was strewn with laurel wreaths and flowers of various kinds.

The car was drawn by sixteen gray horses, with coverings of black cloth, trimmed with silver bullion, each led by a colored groom, dressed in the usual habiliments of mourning, with streamers of crape on their hats.

On this the body was now placed, all present reverently uncovering, and the band of the Seventh playing a funeral march. All seemed to feel the solemnity of the moment.

The procession then formed around the car; the Sergeants of the Reserve Corps surrounding the remains with drawn sabres, and the Seventh in a hollow

square.

FIRST DIVISION.

Police in a solid phalanx cleared the way, and then a body of dragoons, in their gay attire, opened the march of the processsion. Four generals and a number of staff officers followed : then came the Second Division N. Y. S. N. G., the Duncan Light Artillery of Brooklyn; the Fifty-second Regiment of infantry, Colonel Cole; the Forty-Seventh, Colonel Meserole; the Twenty-third Regiment, Colonel Pratt, all bearing crape on their arms, and their colors cased. These closed the Fifth Brigade. The Seventh-Regiment of Cavalry, the next in order, was followed by the Twenty-eighth and Fourteenth Regiments, the latter with its tattered colors proudly borne from Bull Run to Spottsylvania. The Thirteenth, another Brooklyn Regiment, succeeded.

The First Division N. Y. S. N. G., the New York City Regiments, followed, preceded by the garrison of Hart's Island, a fine body of veterans. The Seventy-ninth, with its record of gallant deeds in Virginia, Carolina, and Tennessee; the Sixty-ninth, Fifty-fifth, Seventy-first, Twenty-second and others, whose renown will now be undying, moved onward in solid columns, their tattered colors proclaiming them to be no longer mere carpet knights. The Fourth Artillery, Colonel Teller, closed the division,

The whole military pageant was grand. The eighteen city regiments in the parade, with their batteries and officers made a force of at least ten thousand men. Those from Brooklyn and the Regulars were nearly half that number, the whole in line of formation, or double line, extending from Barclay street to Twenty-fifth street, besides six blocks on Canal street, and aronnd Union Square, a distance in all of four miles and a half.

The Seventh Regiment succeeded, followed by a battalion of marines, and other officers of the army and navy then in New York, including Major-General Palmer, Brigadier-Generals

Meagher, Este, Hunt, Kiernan, Admiral Paulding, Commodores Ringgold and Engle, with some French naval officers.

Then followed Major-General Dix and staff, preceding the guard of honor, which consisted of a detachment from the Seventh Regiment, formed two deep and in hollow square, inside of which marched the veteran guard surrounding the remains of the illustrious dead from Washington.

As the funeral-car passed on, a simultaneous hush seemed to come over the entire crowd ; the men reverently lifted their hats, and all eyes, many of which were moist with tears, were fastened on the car and coffin from the time of its appearance till it passed out of sight; then there was a moment of deathlike stillness, when the pent-up feelings of the immense throng seemed to relieve themselves with a simultaneous sigh.

Many waited to see no more of the procession as it passed on in its regular order, which was, the guard of honor, followed by a troop of cavalry as escort to Brigadier-General Hall, Grand Marshal, with his aids, after which came the Second Division.

THE SECOND DIVISION.

This division, which comprised the representatives of the State, county, and city governments of this and other cities and States, representatives of foreign nations, etc., formed a very prominent feature of the grand procession.

The order of arrangements agreed upon by the committee, owing to the immense number who turned out to do honor to the occasion, had to be temporarily abandoned, and the various sub-divisions were compelled to form in line in some of the adjoining streets.

The carriages provided for the foreign representatives, and delegations from the States and Territories of the United States, were formed in line in Chambers street, the right resting on Broadway, and the federal officers of the Custom House, Sur veyors Office, Post Office, and the collectors, assessors, and deputies of the United States Internal Revenue, United States marshals, and the judges and officers of the United States courts, formed on Centre street, the head of the line resting on the corner of City Hall square and Tryon row.

The foreign representatives were dressed in full court costume, wearing on their persons the insignia of their rank. Some of

« PreviousContinue »