Civil War Martinsburg: Focus of Contention

East King Street (U.S. 11) and South Queen Street (U.S. 45) on East King Street, Martinsburg, WV 25401

History: Martinsburg, strategically located on the Valley Turnpike (present-day U.S. Route 11) and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, was a major transportation center and the northern gateway to the Shenandoah Valley. Both sides contested for it frequently during the war, and it changed hands many times. During Confederate Gen. Jubal A. Early’s Washington raid, part of his army occupied Martinsburg in July 1864, as troops moved toward the Potomac River to invade the North.

More to Explore: For ideas on fun things to see and do in the area, visit

Photo Credits:

  1. “Martinsburg town square, looking west on King St., Harper’s Weekly, Dec. 3, 1864”
  2. “Shenandoah Valley from Maryland Heights, north of Martinsburg, 1864.” Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.