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"No time was to be lost if we were going to Martinsburg. The country people murmured disapproval, but we went on the bridge, and were soon crossing it on the one-foot plank that served for a footwalk. It was an unpleasant walk. The river was roaring below us. To yield to the fasci- nation of the desire to look between the railroad ties at the foaming water was to throw away our lives. Then that fear that the tons of drift stuff piled against the upper side of the bridge, would suddenly throw it over, was a cause of anything but confidence. But we held our breath, balanced ourselves, measured our steps, and looked far ahead at the hills on the Western Virginia shore. At last the firm embankment was reached, and four reporters sent up one sigh of relief and joy.
    "Finding two teams, we were soon on our way to Martinsburg.
    "The Potomac was nine feet higher than it was ever known to be before, and it was out for more than a mile beyond the tracks of the Cumberland Valley Railroad at Falling Waters, where it had carried away several houses. This made the route to Martinsburg twice as long as it otherwise would have been. To weary, anxious reporters it seemed four times as long, and that we should never get beyond the village of Falling Waters. It confronted us at every turn of the crooked way,

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Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury and Diann Olsen