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[153] about the future. Except that he had a very strong ambition to rise in his profession, I never saw a man who troubled himself less about what the morrow might bring forth. At this time, the Hon. James Guthrie told the Hon. Edward Everett, if I remember his words correctly, that he thought Everett Peabody was ‘the best field engineer in the West.’ He was soon after appointed Chief Engineer of the Memphis and Ohio Railroad, with a salary of three thousand dollars. At a later period,—for everything connected with Western railroads was then fluctuating and uncertain,—he was employed as engineer of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, and then of the Hannibal and St. Joseph's (Missouri) Railroad. Here he remained for three years.

Up to this time his letters to his brothers, which were numerous, showed simply the professional enthusiasm which might have been expected from his energetic and buoyant nature. As he grew older, however, the wearying effects of rough border life began to tell upon him, and the desire for home and for cultivated society became stronger and stronger. One of his brothers was married about this time; and his many letters to his new sister-in-law showed a tenderer side of his nature, and exhibited a plaintive longing that was almost pathetic. For a man of education and cultivated tastes to find himself at twenty-seven the permanent resident of a ‘boarding car’ at the unfinished extremity of a new railway track, in the midst of an unbroken wilderness, in the dead of winter, was rather a dismal experience. The following letters speak for themselves.

boarding cars, February 20, 1858.

This Sunday evening, wearied out by a day of the most listless laziness, I can think of nothing to do, unless it be to write to you, my dear——. . . . . The heading of this letter may puzzle you. As it is well to have the snow off the track before we pull the engine wide open, I will explain.

A train of cars is kept at the end of the track, and pushed forward as the track progresses. These migratory dwellings contain cars for the accommodation of the men who work,—a car for cooking and one for eating, and at the end of the train, a blue car, with


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