When 20-year-old Billy Laird of Berwick excitedly enlists in the Union Army with his hometown pals, he has no idea of what lies ahead for him. Mentally challenged, he is ill prepared for the training and fighting, but he gets by with the help of his friends. Soon, however, he is sent to a different unit without them. Lonely and unsure of what to do on his own, Billy runs off and meets up with a runaway slave, Elijah. Together, and with the help of the Underground Railroad, the two make their way north to their fates. This young adult novel inspired by a real person, Billy Laird, and an actual event is a tale of friendship, loyalty and compassion and will enthrall readers of all ages. It was painstakingly researched by Flahive and provides a wealth of information about Mainers role in the Civil War.
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||905 KB|
|Age Range:||8 - 12 Years|
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"Billy stood in front of the fire and watched a heavy mist creep through the camp. Drizzle seeped through his clothes, chilling him. Finally he ducked into the tent and found Leighton on his knees spreading the blanket across a floor of hay before he crashed his bulky frame down on top of it. Billy sat down beside him, pulled off his boots, and rested his chin on his knees.
"Leighton?" he asked quietly.
"You scared of fightin'?"
"Naw." He heard Leighton yawn. "Wrestled too many ornery bulls to be scared of a few Johnnies."
"You thinkin' I'll be a good soldier?"
"Don't rightly know if I'll be a good one." Leighton yawned again, rolled on his side.
"We gonna die? Harry says we won't take a bullet-"
"Truth is, we ain't all comin' back, Billy Boy."
Leighton's words frightened Billy. Staring into the darkness, he hesitated for several moments.
"If I don't like it and all, can I go home? I can find my way."
"Ain't none of us goin' home for a long time. We do what the army says now."