Photos taken by Chris Light
BH Photo #109303
During the Federal Cavalry advance north from Fort Laramie in 1876 to attack the large Indian encampment on the Bighorn, the old Army Iron Bridge across the North Platte at Fort Laramie didn't look so nice and clean as modern pictures show it. Check out the running boards (planks) and gravel that the historic old army bridge had in the photo provided by historian Starley Talbott of Wyoming at:
This was the bridge that Generals Sherman and Custer saw.
My great grandmother was moving from Cleveland where she and her late husband had lived for many years. He was a civil engineer and frequently was gone from home on projects, including a railroad dock at Marquette on Lake Superior. He invented a mechanism for unloading ships. Of her journey west on a train she wrote the following about the Fort Laramie Bridge.
I deplored the conditions that nearly half my journey was enveloped in the darkness of the night; one desire was to view the old trail, where so many people had traveled thirty-five years previous to go forward to the Black Hills in search of gold, the panic of inspiration being almost equal to the old times of forty-nine when the great rush was to California for gold. Mr. S.- (Orsamus Sherwood) was at the time erecting a large bridge for the government at Fort Laramie where nearly all were obliged to cross that river, it being the Platte, and about the time the bridge was completed Colonel Crook's Army was ordered north to re-enforce Colonel Custer's, among the northern hills, but the army proper was not permitted to cross the bridge (as it was not yet accepted by the Government) but the Colonel was allowed to cross in his ambulance, he being an high officer. But their expedition was of no avail for Colonel Custer's army had been 14 massacred, almost to a man, and the news came back to Fort Laramie, very soon, that such was the case, one man escaped to bear the news of the terrible slaughter.
Carol: I'd definitely be interested in any information or stories about the bridge you might have.
My Great-Grandfather was the engineer on this project. Is there anyone out there that wants more information on that?