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.