Month: August 2015
Just a quick collection of images from the Civil War Union encampment and funeral parade. First up though is a collage from this whole weekend. 🙂
Collage Image: Civil War Union soldiers with reversed weapons. The Leviathan steam locomotive. A drummer. An older soldier with the American flag behind him. In the center, the seal from the Lincoln funeral car, the United States – an eagle with wings outstretched.
There were several locomotives that pulled the Lincoln Funeral Car but one of them was a 440 named Leviathan No. 63. From 1999 to 2009, Dave Kloke basically built a replica of the original. It is period-specific in EVERYTHING except where the Federal Railroad Administration required modern safety features. 🙂 Check out the images. What do you think?
And yes, we got to ride on the Leviathan. There is something very different about a steam train versus the sleek silence of modern Amtrak. The rocking and swaying, the chugga-chugga sound, the water dripping from the front, and the steam billowing overhead, like a trail of clouds that followed us. You could even feel the humidity in the air from it.
Image Collage: Julia checking her shots. The Leviathan, steam locomotive that drew Lincoln’s funeral car. Leviathan’s engineer checking the water levels. Me, on the ground with Gamma trying to get “just the right shot.”
Hello from North Carolina! This weekend, the North Carolina Transportation Museum is hosting the Lincoln Funeral Car and has an array of events and exhibits. Civil War food and dances, a Union and Confederate camp, artillery demonstrations, several actors and people doing impressions, and – why we’re going – to see the Lincoln Funeral Car and steam locomotive.
Just like we have Air Force One for the President today, then, considering trains were considered the primary form of long distance transportation, President Lincoln had his own train car, the “United States.” He never got to travel in it, during his lifetime. It was delivered and he was to have toured it the day after he was shot by John Wilkes Booth, the day he died.. Draped in black bunting and staffed by an Invalid Corps honor guard, it became his Funeral Car and would carry Lincoln’s body over 1,600 miles, through 150 cities so mourners could say their goodbyes before the President returned home for the last time.
The original funeral car was sold, stripped of its elegant interior, and put in service as a part of the Union Pacific Railroad. Years later it was sold to a private entrepreneur who thought to exhibit it. Unfortunately, it was destroyed in a prairie fire in Minnesota in 1911. But, fortunately for us, there are many photographs of it from the time period and over the last five years, with the help of those photos, the original blueprints, a lot of hard work, and some inspired support (you have to read the story about the paint chips to believe it), Dave Kloke rebuilt the United States as it was, when it carried Lincoln from Washington, DC to Springfield, IL.
The train is beautiful and looks so much like all the photos of the original. You can see the care that was taken in the details.
The inside is just as opulent. While there are many many photos of the exterior, it seems the same was not true for the interior with many details written in the 1930s by men who were young when they saw it: Green leather walls, ceilings of crimson silk, brass lanterns, medallions, and insignia from each of the states. Kloke and his volunteers I think went above and beyond. Many of the items inside are either actual antiques or closely modeled on antiques (or handmade in the same style). You could feel the history as you stepped on board. Practically smell it.
AND it was the first to actually have a bathroom (although I think they’re still working on building that).
We are in the middle of our Kickstarter to raise funds to tell the story of the Invalid Corps; of soldiers with disabilities who continued to serve. Please donate and/or Share: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dayalmohamed/the-civil-war-invalid-corps-and-the-battle-of-fort
Although not directly linked to the making of this film, I couldn’t help but include this description of the aftermath of a battlefield during the Peninsular Campaign from the autobiography of Oliver Otis Howard. It is striking and will haunt you. It says a lot about war, about the men who fought and died, and about what they thought of each other.
As we approached the front a thick mist was setting in and a dark cloudy sky was over our heads, so that it was not easy at twenty yards to distinguish a man from a horse. Miles, guiding us, remarked: “General, you had better dismount and lead your horses, for the dead and wounded are here.
A peculiar feeling crept over me as I put my feet on the soft ground and followed the young officer. Some stretchers were in motion. A few friends were searching for faces they hoped to find. There were cries of delirium, calls of the helpless, the silence of the slain, and the hum of distant voices in the advancing brigade, with the intermittent rattle of musketry, the neighing of horses, and the shriller prolonged calls of the team mules, and soon the moving of lanterns guiding the bearers of the wounded to the busy surgeons.
I remember that the call of one poor fellow was insistent. He repeatedly cried: “Oh, sir! Kind sir! Come to me!” I walked over to where he lay and asked: “What regiment do you belong to?”
He answered: “The Fifth Mississippi.”
I then said: “What do you want?”
He replied: “Oh, I am cold!”
I knew it was from the approach of death, but noticing that I had a blanket over him I said: “You have a good warm blanket over you.” He looked toward it and said gently: “yes, some kind gentleman from Massachusetts spread his blanket over me, but, sir, I’m still cold.”
A Massachusetts soldier had given his only blanket to a wounded man – a wounded enemy.