Billy Benson, at age 9 in 1952, gets in trouble with the courts and finds himself "banished" to his grandfather's farm for the summer as his mother attends classes to better herself as Billy's father is institutionalized in a TB clinic with the responsibility of supporting her family, falls onto his mother's shoulders. Billy is captivated by the stories told him by his grandfather, especially those of his great grandfather's service in the Confederate Army. He was wounded in the trenches at Petersburg, Virginia, prior to the Battle of the Crater that was depicted in the movie, Cold Mountain. Mr. Carter refers to the Civil War as, 'That Damned Yankee Invasion'. During three successive summers, grandfather and grandson develop a closeness not shared by the old man with his other grandchildren who rarely visit the farm. Billy did not realize the impact his grandfather had on him until he became a man with his grandfather in a nursing home and goes back to visit the old man, who does not even remember Billy's name.
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