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October 20, 2012 - 35 went

Maryland Heights Evening Hike to the Mountain Top

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Added by Sheri R
on Oct 21, 2012.


  • A former member

    The Baltimore & Ohio (B & O) railroad bridge was once a majestic wood covered bridge that spanned the Potomac River and carried train traffic on the B & O Railroad for 23 years prior to the outbreak of the Civil War. In 1859, John Brown, a staunch abolitionist, launched a raid across this bridge to capture the United States Armory and start a war to end slavery. Brown failed at his attempt but made a major impact on the Harpers Ferry area. With the secession of Virginia in April, 1861, the bridge became a tenuous connector between the Confederacy and the Union. The bridge was over an important border, the Potomac River, and constantly had to worry about attacks from both sides of the war. During four years of Civil War, the bridge would be built and destroyed nine times - four times by war, five times by floods. The final time the bridge was destroyed occurred during the final invasion of the North in July of 1864. Once Confederate Jubal Early's forces withdrew from Maryland by mid-July, the B & O railroad rebuilt the bridge once more. In the fall of 1864, the Union used the bridge to transport an immense amount of supplies across the Potomac and into the armory depot for use by Philip Sheridan's army during its Valley Campaign. The Valley Campaign conquered the Confederate army in the Shenandoah Valley and the B & O Railroad was the artery of life for Sheridan's army.

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