Defend the Valley: A Shenandoah Family in the Civil War

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9780195132373: Defend the Valley: A Shenandoah Family in the Civil War

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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About 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.

Review:


"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


"It is impossible to convey in a review the weight and substance, the quiet and insistent human majesty of Defend the Valley...There are passages that are so bright with felt life, and so vivid and startling in their simple truthful beauty, that it is nearly impossible not to stop and speak them aloud...It has all the tension and feeling of a first-rate novel...[It is] a book that is unlike anything else that I know of in the literature of the Civil War."--The New York Times Book Review


"Captures the emotions present in one of the principal battle arenas of Confederate Virginia. Most important, the work is such a huge compilation of letters, diaries, and reminiscences by family members that Defend the Valley will become a basic reference source for the Valley of Virginia during the Civil War years."--Richmond Times-Dispatch


"A fascinating history of two Southern families in the crucible of America's bloodiest war...The letters and memoirs provide a poignant account of the war's terrible toll on the South's middle class...Colt located wonderful accounts of how Southerners coped with the Union occupations of the lower Shenandoah Valley, morale on the home front in the face of adversity, and how the families recovered after the war...The book provides excellent insights into the relationships of men and women in the 1860s, among families in general, and even among masters and slaves...Margaretta Barton Colt ensures that Randolph [Barton]'s story, and his brother Robert's, and those of dozen other kinfolk are not only remembered but treasured."--Maryland Historical Society


"These letters are a treasure for Civil War buffs and a wonderfully human account of life in this tumultuous period."--The State, Columbia, SC


"Through the poignancy of these letters, Defend the Valley rises above the many pedestrian narratives published in recent years...The result is a gem of a Civil War book."--Civil War


"For moving writing on the Civil War, one may turn profitably to Defend the Valley"--The Virginian-Pilot


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


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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.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 Bartons and Joneses, In gathering together 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 lived it. These two families 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 represented here includes letters, diaries, and memoirs. The book benefits from the vivid recollections found in the soldiers first-hand descriptions of the battles, and the responses from the home front. The result is a fully-rounded picture of the daily struggle of the Civil War, and the passing of a way of life. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780195132373

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