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A Turner Bugler, 2004

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The Funeral of Willie Lincoln.


March/April 1862

From The Missouri Democrat, Saturday, March 1, 1862.

The Funeral of Willie Lincoln.

[Washington cor. Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb. 24th]

The Departments were all closed to-day, in consequence of the arrangements for the funeral of William Wallace, second son of President Lincoln. His remains were placed in the Green Room at the Executive mansion, where this morning a great many friends of the family called to take a last look at the little favorite who had endeared himself to all the guests of the family. The body was clothed in the usual every-day attire of youths of his age, consisting of pants and jacket, with white stockings and low shoes—the white collar and wristbands being turned over the black cloth of the jacket. The countenance wore a natural and placid look, the only signs of death being a slight discoloration of the features.

The body lay in the lower section of a metallic case, the sides of which were covered by the winding sheet of white crape. The deceased held in the right hand a boquet [sic] composed of a superb camelia, around which were grouped azalias and sprigs of mignionette. This, when the case was closed, was reserved for the bereaved mother. On the breast of the deceased was a beautiful wreath of flowers already named, interspersed with ivy leaves and other evergreens; near the feet was another wreath of the same kind, while azalias and sprigs of mignionette were dispersed about the body.

The metallic case was very plain, in imitation rosewood. On the upper section was a square silver plate, bearing in plain characters the simple inscription:

William Wallace Lincoln.
Born December 21st, 1850,
Died February 20th, 1862.

The mirrors in the East room, in the Green room, (where the boy was laid,) and in the other reception rooms, were covered with mourning drapery-the frames being covered with black and the glass, with white crape.

In accordance with the wish of the family, the body was not removed, but remained in the Green room during the funeral services, which were conducted.

The Rev. Dr. Gurley, Pastor of the Presbyterian Church on New York avenue, delivered a touching discourse, during which nearly every eye was suffused with tears. He was followed by the Rev. Jno. C. Smith, of the Ninth Presbyterian Church, in a fervent prayer.

The occasion was a most impressive one, and the large crowd present seemed to be deeply affected by its solemnity. Among those present were members of the Cabinet with their families; foreign Ministers, members of Congress, army and navy officers, and many distinguished persons in civil life. After the performance of the funeral service, the body was followed to the vault, Oak Hill Cemetery, Georgetown, by most of those present, the Illinois delegation in Congress acting as pall-bearers.