The 4th Annual Great Train Raid of 1861 at the Martinsburg Roundhouse
Talisman & Coiner Productions is pleased to have been a part of the GREAT TRAIN RAID OF 1861 commemoration
On May 4, 2019, Saturday afternoon at 2pm in the Martinsburg Roundhouse Rotunda, we gave our "NO SMALL CHANGE™: How the Civil War changed our Money" presentation.
A Very Important Asset...
The Martinsburg's Roundhouse and associated railroad has a history that dates back to the 1840s. At that time, it was operated by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, also know as the B&O.
During the Civil War, the railroads were a very important asset as they were used to transport supplies and troops. The railroad had become a strategic target of Confederate and Union Troops.
After Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jacksons troops stopped the trains from traveling east at Martinsburg, WV and Point of Rocks, MD, he led a raid in mid-1861, and destroyed the B&O Railroad Martinsburg Shops. In 1862, Jackson returned and inflicted more destruction. Among other things destroyed were locomotives and coal cars, as well as tracks, bridges, telegraph wires, the "Colonade" Bridge and the Martinsburg Roundhouse.
Expecting the Union General Patterson to recross the Potomac River, the locomotives were taken apart and the pieces were moved by horse-drawn teams to Strasburg, VA. The machine shops and the Martinsburg Roundhouse were stripped of all of their tools and its turntable.
In 1866, the B&O began to rebuild the present day roundhouse and machine shops that serviced the locomotives, a process that lasted into 1872. Progressively, all the machinists tools and the engines, except one, were returned to Martinsburg.
In the Limelight Again...
Again in history, Martinsburg was in the limelight as low wages and poor working conditions for the railroad workers there led to a strike, which spread throughout the United States. Because of the massive number of railroad workers involved in the strike, it became known as The Great Strike of 1877 which caused the stoppage of the movement of the United States' railroads.
The Martinsburg Roundhouse is currently the only cast iron-framed building of its kind still in existence today, and was a functioning roundhouse up until the mid-1980s.
The Berkeley County Commission of West Virginia purchased the Martinsburg Roundhouse, which is a 16-sided structure and sits on 13 acres, from CSX Transportation Inc in 1999.
In 2000, the Martinsburg Roundhouse and property was transferred to the Berkeley County Roundhouse Authority. Their purpose was and is the preservation and redevelopment of this historical heritage site.
The Martinsburg Roundhouse was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2003, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Today, the Martinsburg Roundhouse sponsors many types of events, such as the 4th Annual Great Train of 1861 Raid on May 4th and 5th, 2019, which provided, to name a few activities, tours, civil war displays, music, and presentations by many individuals and groups, including "No Small Change-Civil War Money" by Talisman Coiner Productions LLC on Saturday, May 4th at 2pm.
The information above was compiled from the following sources: