The Shenandoah Valley was known as the breadbasket of the Confederacy during the American Civil War and seen as a back door for Confederate raids on Maryland, D.C. and Pennsylvania. Because of its strategic importance it was the scene of three major campaigns. The first was the Valley Campaign of 1862, in which Confederate General Stonewall Jackson defended the valley against three numerically superior Union armies. The final were the Valley Campaigns of 1864. In the summer of 1864 when Confederate General Jubal Early cleared the Valley of its Union occupiers and then proceeded to raid Maryland, Pennsylvania and D.C. Then during the fall, Union General Phillip Sheridan was sent to drive Early from the Valley and once-and-for-all destroy its use to the Confederates by putting it to the torch using scorched-earth tactics. The Valley, especially in the lower northern section, was also the scene of bitter partisan fighting as the Valley and its surroundings were deeply divided over loyalties.
Transportation in the Shenandoah Valley consist mainly of road and rail and contains several metropolitan area transit authorities. The main north-south road transportation in Interstate 81 which parallels the old Valley Turnpike (U.S. Route 11) through its course in the valley . In the lower valley, on the eastern side, U.S. Route 340, also runs north-south, starting from Waynesboro in the south, running through the Page Valley to Front Royal, and on to Harpers Ferry, where it exits the valley. Major east-west roads cross the valley as well, providing access to the Piedmont and Allegheny Mountains. Starting from the north, they include: U.S. Route 50, U.S. Route 522, Interstate 66, U.S. Route 33, U.S. Route 250, Interstate 64, and U.S. Route 60.