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riage, in company with the other two Commissioners' when he expired almost instantaneously, and was taken to the house of his friend Colonel Nutt, in Council Bluffs,
Commissioners, General Simpson and Major White, together with Col. Nutt and Major L. S. Bent, accompanied his remains to his home in Keokuk, where they were received, and escorted to their last resting-place, with distinguished honors.
General Curtis was a civil engineer of great experience and good reputation; an able and distinguished officer in the army during the late rebellion; and an upright, honest man, respected and beloved by all who knew him.
He was one of the earliest advocates and promoters of the Union Pacific Railroad, both in and out of Congress; and lived to see more than three hundred miles of that great work completed, and accepted by the Government.
Since the occurrence of the events hereinbefore recorded, other events have either transpired, or may be predicted with some degree of certainty, in connection with the Union Pacific Railroad, to which it may not be improper to refer, in closing this somewhat prolix and desultory narrative.
The Directors have fixed the location of the road over the Black Hill Range of the Rocky Mountains, upon the route followed by our party a portion of the distance on its return trip from the Laramie Plains.
After three years spent in making the most careful surveys of the Rocky Mountain Passes, extending from the sources of the South Plate, on the south, to Fort Laramie on the north, it was found that this route would
be much more direct; and could be built in less time, and with much lower maximum grades than any of the other routes surveyed.
The route as located, leaves the valley of the South Platte, at the mouth of Lodge Pole Creek, opposite Julesburgh, and follows up the valley of that creek about one hundred miles, when it crosses obliquely the divide between Lodge-Pole, and Crow Creeks. And thence across Crow Creek to the divide between that stream and Lone-Tree Creek, which divide it follows to the summit of the Black Hill Range at Evans' Pass. From the summit it follows down the southwesterly slope of the Black Hills to the Laramie Plains.
Beyond this nothing has been decided upon with reference to the location, although several routes have been surveyed to the eastern line of California.
This location leaves Denver city about one hundred miles to the south of the main through line of the Union Pacific Railroad; but a branch road, over a very good route, may, and probably will be constructed from Denver and the rich mineral regions of Colorado, to the main line, within one or two years.
The route through Denver and Berthoud Pass was found to be comparatively impracticable—and the Company could not consistently bend the line nearer Denver, without discriminating too much against the through business of the road.
The staging from the end of the track to Denver is now reduced to from thirty-six to forty hours; and a fast freight line has been established for the transportation of freight, from the end of the track to any point in the western Territories.
The track laying was suspended in December, at a point three hundred and five miles west of Omaha, on
account of cold weather, and the want of materials. The grading is completed about fifty miles, and the ties are provided for more than one hundred miles west of that point. A sufficient quantity of iron rails has been purchased to extend the track to the Laramie river, a distance of two hundred and seventy-one miles from the end of the present track; and if an excursion party should start for the end of the track, just one year from the time that the late excursion party left New York, it will be quite sure to make its last camping ground as far west as the Laramie Plains.
The Great connecting link has been completed from Chicago to the Missouri River opposite Omaha; and preparations are now being made to construct a bridge over the Missouri during the coming season; when this is done, and the track of the Union Pacific Railroad is extended to the Laramie Plains, the traveller may ride in the same car from New York city, a distance of nineteen hundred and sixty-seven miles, on his way westward across the Continent and he must not be surprised if, during the year 1869, he can continue in the same car to Great Salt Lake City, a distance of two thousand four hundred and twenty-eight miles from New York.
So MOTE IT BE.