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Defend the Valley : A Shenandoah Family in the Civil War - Margaretta Barton Colt

Defend the Valley

A Shenandoah Family in the Civil War

Paperback

Published: 16th September 1999
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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.

"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 "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 "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 "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

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Prefacep. x
Genealogical Chartp. xvi
Mapsp. xviii
Introductionp. 1
The Valley at Peacep. 24
The Family
The Valley at Warp. 60
April-July 1861. Harpers Ferry
First Battle of Manassas
August-December 1861p. 90
On the Potomac and Back in the Valley
January-May 1862p. 110
Bath-Romney Campaign
First Federal Occupation of Winchester
Battle of Kernstown
McDowell Campaign
May-June 1862p. 139
First Battle of Winchester
Battle of Port Republic
Summer 1862p. 166
Winchester Reoccupied
Battle of Gaines' Mill
September-December 1862p. 182
Winchester Returned to the Confederacy
Fredericksburg Campaign
January-May 1863p. 214
Winter Quarters
Letters from Occupied Winchester and the Field
Chancellorsville
May-July 1863p. 248
More Letters under Occupation
Second Battle of Winchester
Liberation and Family Reunited
July-September 1863p. 267
Winchester Between the Lines
October-December 1863p. 281
The Family at Springdale
Campaigning in the Wilderness
January-June 1864p. 298
Battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania
Battle of New Market
July-September 1864p. 325
Early's Valley Campaign
Third Battle of Winchester
October 1864-April 1865p. 342
Last Battles in the Valley
Final Campaign in Eastern Virginia
The Devastated Valley at Peacep. 375
The Family Dispersed
Service Recordsp. 404
Notesp. 410
Sourcesp. 431
Selected Bibliographyp. 432
Indexp. 435
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195132373
ISBN-10: 0195132378
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 464
Published: 16th September 1999
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.3 x 15.6  x 3.2
Weight (kg): 0.65