Attacking the Union Pacific

The Truth and the Legend Behind the 1867 Cheyenne Indian Raid at Plum Creek, Nebraska

By Thornton Waite

120 pages, softcover
60 B&W illustrations


ISBN: 978-1-7340266-2-7

Many stories about the Union Pacific Railroad have centered around its construction as part of the nation’s first transcontinental rail line. One of the more famous stories concern the Plum Creek Raid, in which three UP employees were killed and a UP freight train was derailed by the Northern Cheyenne on August 7, 1867, near Plum Creek (now Lexington), Neb. It is the best-known instance in which Native Americans successfully wrecked the “iron horse” during their struggle against the encroachment of the railroad on their tribal lands. The incident includes the unusual tale of UP employee William Thompson and his scalp. Noted railroad historian Thornton Waite looks at the many conflicting versions of events related to the incident, and how it has been been portrayed in the media over the past 150-plus years. 

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