How the Civil War Changed American Funerals

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During the Civil War, an estimated 620,000 men died, many of the deaths due to non-combat related disease. Families wanted their loved one shipped home in order to give them a proper farewell. The bodies would decompose by the time they were returned home, thus the practice of embalming began to emerge.   The death of President Lincoln was also another reason embalming became mainstream. When he was killed in 1865, his wife requested Lincoln to be embalmed. A funeral train carried his preserved body throu

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