Re: Dates relating to gauge of Pacific railroad.
One other thing I did not mention--
In Wesley Griswold's "Work of Giants" discussion of the January cabinet meeting at which the gauge of the Pacific railroad was discussed, and subsequent to which Lincoln decided upon the 5 foot gauge, Griswold states that one George Davis addressed the issue. According to Griswold, Davis was a friend of Lincoln's, and he was also a railroad equipment dealer--and was at the meeting at Huntington's request. Several of the first CP locomotives were actually purchased from Davis rather than the builder. One of those engines was the Stanford.
Davis is a character about whom I know little, but it may be interesting to watch for his name.
I swear, politics was the oil that lubricated the Central Pacific.