Before President Abraham Lincoln was laid to rest, a train carried his body on a two-week funeral procession across the Northern U.S. states in 1865. Mourners from New York to Illinois gathered to see the train and pay their final respects, but despite drawing millions of spectators, one detail of the much-publicized event was thought to have been lost to history: The color of the president’s railcar.
Now, in a case of historical sleuthing, Wayne Wesolowski, a chemist at the University of Arizona in Tucson, has put together the missing piece of the puzzle.
By analyzing tiny paint chips from one of only a few surviving artifacts from the trains, Wesolowski discovered that the true color of the historic railcar was a brownish-red color that he describes as “dark maroon.” Read more.
The reports details how Leale found Lincoln paralysed, comatose and leaning against his wife.
The Army surgeon, who sat 40 feet from Lincoln at Ford’s Theater that night in April 1865, saw assassin John Wilkes Booth jump to the stage, brandishing a dagger. Thinking Lincoln had been stabbed, Leale pushed his way to the victim but found a different injury.
“I commenced to examine his head (as no wound near the shoulder was found) and soon passed my fingers over a large firm clot of blood situated about one inch below the superior curved line of the occipital bone,” Leale reported. Read more.