Defend the Valley: A Shenandoah Family in the Civil War

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Located in a strategic position in the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester, Virginia, witnessed the Civil War in a way unlike any other town in America. In Defend the Valley, the story of the war is told through the letters and private papers of the Barton and Jones clans—two great limbs of one family tree with roots in Winchester. By collecting her ancestors' papers, Margaretta Barton Colt has done far more than provide a record of the Civil War. She has brought it to life with astounding clarity through the voices of those who experienced it. The Bartons and Joneses collectively sent eleven men into battle, most in the brigade led by Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. Culled from the private papers of twenty family members, the material presented here includes many vivid recollections found in the soldiers' first-hand descriptions of the battles, as well as responses from the home front. The result is a fully rounded picture of the daily struggles of the Civil War, and a documentation of the passing of a way of life.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Margaretta Barton Colt brings to life the courage, recklessness, heartbreak, and deprivation of the Valley Campaign and the battles to the east of the Blue Ridge. Whether one's sentiments lie or would have lain with the North or South, Defend the Valley is difficult to read without tears of sorrow....We come to know these people almost too well and suffer their deaths as we would those of dear friends."—The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN

"An astonishingly vivid account of one family's experience of the Civil War."—American Heritage

"Defend the Valley is a book that resonates with the richness of human experience....By honoring her family and retrieving her story, the author has given us a book that is both a pleasure to read and a saga to be shared. Defend the Valley instructs, enlightens and perhaps most of all, reminds us that great events always knock at the homes of families. This book is a splendid history lesson."—The Civil War News

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195132373
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/28/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 1,349,234
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaretta Barton Colt is a direct descendant of the Barton-Jones Clan. Since 1976, she has been coproprietor of The Military Bookman in New York City, and antiquarian bookstore specializing in military history. She was formerly a research and picture editor for Time, Inc., and American Heritage.

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