RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 9 . . Lincoln . . Part 3
RAILCAR GOLD is a historically accurate multi-generational fictional tale of hidden treasure, primarily set in York County, Pennsylvania during the latter half of the Nineteenth Century. This is Part 3 of Chapter 9 . . . Lincoln. A new part will be posted every Thursday. Recent chapters stand alone, starting here; however new readers may want to start at the beginning.
CHAPTER 9 . . . LINCOLN . . . Part 3
Dan and George were shown around the area in the immediate vicinity of Hanover Junction while waiting for Lincoln’s train to arrive. Roy grew up in this area, so many of the people he encountered offered greetings.
Roy told the boys about when they built the Hanover Branch Railroad in 1852. Roy was just about the age of Dan and George when that happened. Building the branch railroad and the junction operations near this home was a sight to see for an inquisitive boy. Even still, every time Roy comes home he visits the railroad depot and watches the fascinating maneuvering of engines and cars via the turntable and sidings to get trains turned around or railcars changed over from, or to, the Northern Central Tracks.
While they waited, Roy reveals the fascinating tale about Captain Eichelberger. Roy pointed him out, waiting anxiously on the platform; every couple of minutes pulling out his watch to check the time. Roy boasted, “The Captain is President of the Hanover Branch Railroad Company, has been for ten years. Like I said, I hung around this depot a lot when I was younger. One day the Captain was traveling through, saw me sitting on those steps and asked if I wanted a job. It was my first job and led to the job I got at your Dad’s place.”
Dan asked Roy, “Do you think the Captain will get to ride with the President to Gettysburg.” Roy bragged, “It’s his railroad, of course.” George exclaimed, “How neat is that!”
“I know that the Captain and Lincoln would have much to talk about,” Roy continued, “Even though the Captain was born, raised and still lives in the Hanover area, he owns a large flour and saw mill in Alabama; it was confiscated by the Rebels at the outbreak of the Civil War. He was a Union officer earlier in the war and even now drills a citizen cavalry company known as the Fourth Dragoons while tending to the Branch Railroad operations.”
“Whoo, Whoo, Whoooo,” suddenly they hear a whistle to the south. Dan did not expect so few people to be at the junction; it was much fewer then in the morning when they first arrived. Maybe since Lincoln did not show at 11:00 o’clock that morning, many people might have suspected the President had canceled.
The train slowly passed the boys and then stopped at the Branch Railroad platform at the depot. George queries Dan, “Did you see Lincoln?” Dan replied, “Not sure.” George responded, “Same here, not sure. He’s probably in the last car, if he’s on that train.”
The boys started to walk closer, but were ushered back to a greater distance by men who had stepped off the train. In short order, President Lincoln steps out of the last railcar onto the platform and immediately is greeted by Captain Eichelberger.
The President and Eichelberger are still engaged in a conversation as Lincoln’s train is pulled into the junction rail-yard to get coupled to a Branch Railroad locomotive. Several other men on the platform are talking to the President as the Pilot train temporarily pulls up on the track next to Lincoln.
George declares to Dan, “The count is now two to one. I’ve now seen two Presidents in person and you’ve seen your first.”
Dan was struck by the height of Abraham Lincoln; it also made an impression on him to be in the presence of the President. He pulls the newspaper article from his pocket and asks one of the men herding the people back, “Can I have President Lincoln sign this?” The man responds sharply, “Cant you see they’re taking photographs.”
Go to Part 4