Via OHA, on April 19, 1865, Aldermen and members of the Alexandria Common Council attended the funeral of Abraham Lincoln, held in the East Room of the White House. Following his death by assassination, Lincoln’s body was transported to the White House by an Honor Guard on April 15 and placed on public view three days later. In the interim period his corpse was prepared for burial by the same embalming method successfully used four years earlier after the death in Alexandria of Elmer Ellsworth, Lincoln’s former law clerk and campaign manager.
After the funeral service, the President’ body was moved to the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in a public procession down Pennsylvania Avenue, where he lay in state until the morning of April 21. His coffin was then moved to Union Station and placed in special railcar, originally built in Alexandria for Presidential service, but used instead for the long funeral procession planned to retrace Lincoln’s inaugural route to Washington several years earlier.