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 onefamily 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 senteleven 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 homefront. 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.