Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Thomas C. Durant, September 17, 1866

In this letter from September 17, 1866, Samuel Reed writes to Thomas C. Durant, Vice President of the Union Pacific Railroad, describing the progress of the work on the line. He calls Durant's attention to several aspects of the construction which require his immediate attention and approval. Reed states that the work will only be completed on schedule if "the men imployed [sic] on the work are not molested by the Indians," and notes that "a few days since Dr. Peck lost 98 mules 50 miles from the west end of the work." Reed fears a raid, and says he is doing all he can to get troops on the line to protect the workmen.

Union Pacific Railroad,
Office of the Genl. Supt.

T.C. Durant V.P.
20 Nassau St. NY

Dear Sir

I wish to call your attention to the importance of letting the balance of the grading on that portion of the 4th hundred miles east of the mouth of Lodge Pole Creek. If that grading is to be done this season it must be let immediately. Please instruct me by telegraph.

We have on hand eighty one miles of iron all of which can be laid by the 15th of Nov. And I think we can lay if the iron is recvd forty miles after the 15th Nov. before the ground freezes up.

That will reach 45 miles on the 4th hundred 5 miles beyond where the grading is now let.

The work on the grading is being pushed as rapidly as posable [sic] and will all as far as contracts are let be completed in time for track.

The bridge over North Platt [sic] may cause a few days delay. I sent the forces out as soon as your instructions were recieved [sic] and the work is being pushed ahead as rapidly as posable [sic] . The piles (red cedar) are all purchased and out of the caņons. Two drivers at work and the third will be put on as soon as it can be sent to the work. All the small bridges are being framed in Omaha and

sent to the end of the track thence hauled ahead by teams and put up in advance of the truck.

We have on hand 200,000 cross ties and have reduced the price for soft wood to sixty cents each, from the 1st of Sept.

If the grading can be done and soon delivered we can lay the track to Julesburg before spring.

Do you send splices for fished joint or is all the iron to be laid with chains?

The above has been written on the supposition that the men imployed [sic] on the work are not molested by the Indians. I fear

that they will make a raid on some portion of the work. A few days since Dr. Peck lost 98 mules 50 miles from the west end of the work.

The men are very timid and on the first appearance of Indians would all leave the work. I have done all I could to get a force of troops on the line sufficient to protect the workmen. Two small lots 40 or 50 in all have been furnished all that can be obtained.

Lieut Genl Sherman promaced [sic] protection if there were troops in the county to be spared.

Yours very Respectfully
Saml. B. Reed

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Thomas C. Durant
  • Extent: 4 pages
  • Citation: Special Collections, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa, Papers of Levi O. Leonard, Box 26, Folder: "Samuel Benedict Reed Correspondence: 1866"
  • Date: September 17, 1866