Ever since the 1830's the dream of a transcontinental railroad existed.
In 1853 congress expended $150,000 in hunting a feasible route. Surveys were made periodically.
In 1860 President Lincoln inaugurates construction of the transcontinental railroad.
President Abraham Lincoln signs the Pacific Railway Act, which authorizes the construction of the first transcontinental railroad. Theodore Judah had the vision to build a railroad across the Sierra Nevada mountains in California, and then to continue the railroad across the United States.
The reason the Union Pacific hadn't started was because it didn't have enough money, it was broke. During the winter of 1863-1864 Durant went to Washington, armed with cash and stock certificates to bribe congressmen. Collis Huntington of the Central Pacific was there too. His pockets crammed with money that he gave to politicians for the good of his company.
Huntington issued Judah an ultimatum: either Judah must buy them out, or they would buy him out.
Unable to come up with the money Judah took a ship back to New York. Very upset he was hoping to find the support of investors willing to buy out his former partners. On October 26, 1863, Judah died at thirty-seven from yellow fever he had caught while crossing the Panama.
In 1863 the Union Pacific RR began construction from Omaha, Nebr., while the Central Pacific broke ground at Sacramento, Calif.
Congress authorizes a new Pacific Railroad Act, passed and signed by the President on July 2, 1864. This act doubled the resources made available to the railroads by the first legislation.
Construction starts in 1864 with the Union Pacific building westward from Omaha and the Central Pacific building eastward from Sacramento.
Gen. Sherman realized that Dodge was the only qualified engineer who knew the Great Plains, could fight Indians, and was an expert...