Monday, March 1, 2021

My Photographs and Story about the Lincoln Funeral Reenactment on May 2, 2015, in Springfield, Illinois.

I attended the Lincoln Funeral reenactment in Springfield, Illinois on May 2, 2015. The funeral reenactment began with the amazing replica of the funeral train hearse car with a replica of President Lincoln's coffin, and an exact replica of the original horse-drawn hearse.
The Staab Family Livery of Springfield, Illinois, in association with the lead builder and recreation craftsman Jack G. Feather, of the Tombstone Hearse Company in Tombstone, AZ. Feather had gathered historians and expert craftsmen to recreate this historic vehicle. It was the centerpiece of the 150th Anniversary commemoration of Abraham Lincoln’s entombment and celebration of his life and legacy.
I was given a VIP pass by Dr. Samuel Wheeler, the Director of Research and Collections for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation in Springfield, and later the Illinois State Historian.
I was given this brass 1865-2015 Lincoln 150 Year Funeral Reenactment, Lapel Pin.
Arriving early, I was able to gain entry to the staging area allowing me to take some photographs away from the gathering crowds.
In order to be historically accurate, all military participants will be in Union uniforms. Reenactors from the Confederate States may attend but they were asked to come as Union soldiers or to portray civilians. Special permission was needed to portray any historical person. There must have been at least 10,000 people, both reenactors, and civilians. 
I spoke with photographer Robert Taunt, a historical reenactor from La Crosse, Wisconsin, representing the Mathew Brady Photographic Studio. He was using an authentic 1860s stereo camera to document the funeral procession, along with the modern 3-D camera on the tripod. I gave him my business card to send me some of the photos he took.
Robert Taunt shooting stereo photographs that produce stereoscopic view cards. Stereograph photography became extremely popular in the 1850s. Cameras and view cards were sold commercially in the thousands. Their popularity waned slightly in the 1880s but commercial companies such as Underwood & Underwood repopularised them in the 1890s.

Abraham Lincoln Springfield Funeral Stereograph. A very rare stereoview on an orange mount, identified as "Funeral of Lincoln at Springfield Ill." The image shows the coffin being carried in a six-horse wagon, surrounded by a cordon of soldiers on May 2, 1865. Soldiers with rifles line the parade route, keeping spectators back. Flags are furled or flown at half-staff, while people stand on roof-tops to get a better view of the procession. Lincoln was buried on May 3rd.

A young boy volunteers as a street sweeper, following horses in the precession.
Copyright © 2015, Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

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