|Abraham Lincoln's Coffin|
On Tuesday, April 19, 1865, pallbearers carried Lincoln's coffin to the Capitol rotunda. Baskets of flowers were then brought in and arranged around the coffin, left in charge of an Honor Guard for the night.
Two generals with their staff officers were detailed every 24 hours to guard the corpse. I was detailed with another General for duty at 6 o'clock P.M. day before yesterday for 24 hours, and had charge of the body until six o'clock last evening, while it was lying in state in the rotunda of the capitol.
During my time of duty 39,000 people passed through and viewed the corpse, the front of the lid being open. The coffin was covered with flowers, and a staff officer stood at the head and another at the foot to keep people from touching the coffin or the corpse, and I assure you it was difficult to prevent it. I never saw such a variety of emotions in human nature in my whole life. Some would burst into tears and sobs, others would flush up with fire and indignation and mutter curses loud and deep on the cowardly assassins and their instigators.
While I was standing at the head of the coffin preventing people from touching it, one old lady over sixty years old watched me closely, and quick as thought darted down her head and kissed the President in spite of me. I could not find it in my heart to say a word to her, but let her pass on as if I did not see it. You can form no idea of the scenes I saw.