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Amateur Former Union General John “Jack” Casement was hired as the new Chief Engineer of the Union Pacific.

Amateur He equipped several railroad cars to serve as portable bunkhouses

for the workers and gathered men and supplies to push the railroad

rapidly west. Among the bunkhouses, Casement added a galley car to

prepare meals, and he even provided for a herd of cows to be moved with

the railhead and bunk cars to provide fresh meat. Hunters were hired to

provide buffalo meat from the large herds of American bison.[citation needed]

The small survey parties who scouted ahead to locate the roadbed were

sometimes attacked and killed by raiding Native Americans. In response

, the U.S. Army instituted active cavalry patrols that grew larger as the

Native Americans grew more aggressive. Temporary, “Hell on wheels

towns, made mostly of canvas tents, accompanied the railroad as

construction headed west.[54][55]

The Platte River was too shallow and meandering to provide river

transport, but the Platte river valley headed west and sloped up gradually

at about 6 feet per mile (1.1 m/km), often allowing to lay a mile (1.6 km) of

track a day or more in 1866 as the Union Pacific finally started moving

rapidly west. Building bridges to cross creeks and rivers was the main

source of delays. Near where the Platte River splits into the North Platte

River and South Platte River, the railroad bridged the North Platte River

over a 2,600-foot-long (790 m) bridge (nicknamed ½ mile bridge). It was

built across the shallow but wide North Platte resting on piles driven by

steam pile drivers.[56] Here they built the “railroad” town of North Platte,

Nebraska in December 1866 after completing about 240 miles (390 km) of

track that year. In late 1866, former Major General Grenville M. Dodge was

appointed Chief Engineer on the Union Pacific, but hard-working General

“Jack” Casement continued to work as chief construction “boss” and his

brother Daniel Casement continued as a financial officer.

From:
Date: August 3, 2020