Saturday, May 2, 2015

Lincoln's Funeral at the Ohio Statehouse: 150 Year Anniversary

On Wednesday this week the volunteer organization at the State House, which represents Battery A, 1st Ohio Light Artillery, put on an encampment and demonstrations to commemorate the 150 year anniversary of the visit to Columbus of President Lincoln's funeral train, and his lying-in-state under the Statehouse Rotunda.

The morning was lovely and warm, and I brought my son along--who is just up to toddling-- in a stroller. The Military Telegraph Corps station was particularly interesting. I learned that operators became skilled enough to pace around and listen to several different keys tapping at once, and decode the messages in their heads. Most operators developed recognizable "voices" and could be distinguished from each other at the other end of the line!

The centerpiece of the encampment was the section of two brass guns manned by the 1st Light Artillery. These guns were originally cast by a foundry in Cincinnati in 1864 and actually fired the original salute to President Lincoln, but in Cleveland.