Jules Verne's history of Mr. Fogg's circumnavigation of the globe indicates that Fogg intended to journey by rail from San Francisco to the Hudson River in 7 days; it took him 8. According to an article in the Oct, 1986 issue of American History Illustrated, in 1876 it still took 7 days to make that trip. Custer's friend, the actor Lawrence Barrett found himself in New York City on 31 May 1876 with a booking to play Henry V in San Francisco on 5 Jun. As a publicity stunt and with the cooperation of the various railroads and while Custer was on the march from Ft Lincoln, Barrett made the trip in 84 hours in time to go yet again "unto the breach."
In Verne's Mysterious Island, one of his characters is a New York Herald reporter/artist who once held a telegraph wire by having Scripture transmitted, while he prepared his copy. Scripture was used that way during Lounesbury's reporting on the LBH. Since Verne's book came first, might this have been a common practice among reporters and telegraphers? or had Lounesbury read Verne?