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Gen. John A. Rawlins
(d. 7 Sep 1869) Range 80 Site 165
Studied law and practiced. Assistant Adjutant General to General Grant during the Civil War. Appointed Secretary of War by President Ulysses S. Grant.
The Evening Star, September 9, 1869
Funeral of John A. Rawlins - An Imposing Pageant
Respect to the Illustrious Dead - the City in Mourning
Scenes at the War Department - Arrival of Mrs. Rawlins
The Religious Services - The Funeral Cortege
Ceremonies at the Congressional Cemetery - Scenes and Incidents
This being the day appointed for the funeral obsequies of the late General John A. Rawlins, Secretary of War, Pennsylvania avenue was crowded from an early hour. The morning dawned beautifully, and throughout the day the weather was delightful, the heat of the sun being tempered by a refreshing breeze. The house tops, windows, porticoes, balconies, and footwalks along the route of the procession were packed with dense masses of spectators, among them being thousands of school children, the public and most of the private schools being closed for the day. The places of business along Pennsylvania avenue were closed; the stores and other buildings were draped in mourning and flags were at half-mast from all the prominent points.
At half-past 8 o'clock a.m., the carriages numbering about three hundred, assembled in front of Harvey & Marr's establishment, on F, between 9th and 10th streets, whence they proceed to the War Department, and were formed in line by Mr. Harvey Riley, of the Depot Quartermaster's Department.
Arrival of Troops
This morning two batteries of the 4th Artillery from Fort McHenry, near Baltimore, arrived on the early train, and marched to quarters in Corcoran's building opposite the War Department, first taking breakfast at a neighboring restaurant. These batteries are D and E, and each number about 60 men. Lieutenants Ledyard and Eckhart being the officers of the first named, and Col. Miller with Captains Ayeriot and Chester of the latter.
At the War Department
At the War Department the doors were opened before nine o'clock, but no one was admitted except the family and friends of the deceased; the President of the United States and the Cabinet; Heads of Bureaus, Senators and Representatives, members of the Diplomatic Corps, Officers of the Army, and employees of the War Department. Of the Army, there were present Generals Sherman, Humphreys, O.O. Shiras, Townsend, Ramsey, Eaton Crane, Ekin, Michler, Eaton, Williams, Meigs, and Dyer; Judge Advocate General Holt; Colonels Lee, Douglas, Sutherland, Audenreid, Dayton, and many others of less rank; Governor elect Walker, of Virginia; Mayor Bowen of Washington; Judge Grisham, of Indiana, and a few other distinguished persons.
The President accompanied by Secretary Fish, Attorney General Hoar, Postmaster General Cresswell, Acting Secretary Richardson and Assistant Secretary Otto, proceeded to the Navy Department, where they were joined by Secretary Robeson, and marched to the War Department, entering by the east door.
The Diplomatic Corps met at the War Department, in the room of Adjutant General Townsend. Among them were Mr. Edward Thornton, the British Minister; Baron Gerolt, Minister of the North German Union; M. Defosse, Belgian Minister; Senor Magalhaens, Brazilian Minister; A. Mazel, Minister from the Netherlands; Mr. Dantas, of the Russian Legation; Baltazzi Effendi, of the Turkish Legation, and a large number of secretaries and attaches of the various legations.
When the procession moved, among those present were Admirals Dahlgren, Lee, Goldsborough, Poore and Bailey, Commodores Harwood and Case, Capts. Shirk, Wyman, Simpson and Ammen, Commander Alden, Surgeon Williams, Majors Nicholson and Cash, of the Marine Corps and other Navy and Marine officers of lesser rank now on duty in this city.
The officers of the Navy and Marine Corps met at the Navy Department at nine o'clock, numbering about fifty, and took carriages in front of that department.
Mrs. Rawlins at the War Department Mrs. Rawlins, wife of the Secretary, arrived here this morning on the early train and proceeded to Willards' Hotel, accompanied by Mrs. Hurlburt, her mother, and the three children of the Secretary by his former wife. At ten o'clock they reached the War Department, Mrs. Rawlins leaning on the arm of Commissioner Parker, the intimate friend of the late Secretary. Upon entering the room where the remains were, she seemed to be overwhelmed with grief. General Sherman very properly had the doors of the room closed after she and the other relatives of the deceased had entered. Besides those above mentioned there were present Mr. James Rawlins, brother of the General, Miss Sarah Rawlins, Mrs. Charles Hume, and Mr. and Mrs. T.L. Hume, cousins of the late Secretary. After the family had taken their last sorrowful look at the face of the deceased the doors of the room were thrown open.
Preparations for the Funeral
The President, Secretary Fish, Attorney General Hoar, Postmaster General Cresswell, Secretary Robeson, Acting Secretary Richardson, and Assistant Secretary Otto entered the room and passed around the coffin. They were followed by the officiating clergymen, Rev. Mr. Wilson, of McKendree Chapel; Rev. B. Peyton Brown, of Wesley Chapel; Rev. Dr. J.G. Butler, Chaplain of the House of Representatives and Rev. Dr. Wm. Hamilton. Then followed the members of the Diplomatic Corps, above mentioned; Drs. Bliss and Cady, the attending physicians of the deceased; Senators Cole and Spencer, Maj. McDonald, Reading Clerk of the Senate, Gen. Sherman, and the officers of the army as stated above.
The Funeral Service
All being in readiness, Rev. Dr. Butler, standing at the foot of the coffin, addressed the Throne of Divine Grace, as follows: The Prayer ... The Sermon ... Closing Prayers ...
The Procession The procession moved off in the following order: Battalion of U.S. Marines, under the command of Lieut. Colonel Haywood, four companies, numbering 120 men, commanded respectively by Lieuts Nokes, Young, Goodrill and Porter, headed by the fine band of the corps, numbering 28 pieces, led by Scala, and 14 pieces of field music. This battalion is the showy uniform of the corps and by their fine state of discipline, attracted much attention. ...
The Wallach School Building
At a special meeting of the Sub-Board of Trustees of Schools of the Third District, held yesterday afternoon, it was decided to make some demonstration, as the funeral cortege would pass the Wallach School Building. The building was accordingly draped in mourning, and as the procession passed the children of the various schools, numbering about 300, all dressed in white, were assembled on the terrace, and united in singing the following selection from the "Song Garden:"
The Soldier's Grave ...
At the Cemetery
At an early hour this morning the principal gateway of Congressional Cemetery was draped in mourning, as also the vault of the Blagden family, situated a few yards south of the gate on the main walk, in which the remains of the deceased were to be deposited. Long before the procession appeared in sight large numbers gathered about the cemetery and some were admitted, but the larger portion were kept out. Lieutenant Austin, with the officers if the Eight Precinct, kept the vicinity of the vault clear, while the officers of the Second Precinct, (Lieutenant Johnson,) being mounted, kept the entrance clear.
At the Tomb
At 12:15 the hearse was halted at the gate, and, preceded by the clergy, the pall-bearers, and the undertakers, Messrs. Harvey A. Marr, the remains were carried slowly to the vault - the band playing a dead march - by eight cavalrymen, where it was placed on the bier, the mourners following.
The Service At The Tomb
Just before the remains reached the vault of Mr. Thomas Blagden, Rev. S.A. Wilson, of McKendree Chapel, who attended the deceased in his last illness, read the burial services of the Methodist Episcopal Church as follows:
I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die - John xi, 25, 26.
I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God; whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another. - Job xix, 25-27
We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord - 1 Tim, vi, 7; Job 1,21.
The remains were then laid in the tomb, and Mr. Wilson continued the service by saying:
"Man that is born of a woman hath but a short time to live, and is full of misery. ...
As soon as the services at the tomb were over the usual honors were paid by the troops - Col. Dupont's Battery firing three salvos from a point on Georgia avenue, west of the cemetery and the marines and artillery three volleys of musketry.
Departure of the Troops The two batters of the 4th artillery from Fort McHenry left in the 2:50 train this afternoon for Baltimore. The two batteries from Fortress Monroe will return tomorrow.
In conversation with General Sherman yesterday, Mr. Harvey spoke of the crowded state of the receiving vault at the Congressional Cemetery, and suggested to the General that it would be well to endeavor to procure the use of one of the private vaults. General Sherman agreed with him, and wrote a letter, stating the circumstances, which he gave to Mr. Harvey, to be used as he saw fit. In company with Mr. Marr, Mr. H. visited Mr. Thomas Blagden, Esq. of this city yesterday afternoon, and that gentleman at once proffered the use of his commodious private vault, which was used for the reception of the remains of the illustrious dead, as above stated.
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