It is late spring of 1862 and the Civil War is raging. Eager to serve on behalf of the South, sixteen-year-old Sam Wood of Yazoo City, Mississippi, forges his grandfather's name and convinces his best friend Albert to join him and enlist in the Confederate Navy. With great excitement and bravado, the two teenagers board the CSS Arkansas. Sam quickly learns that the sailor's life is hard—long hours on duty, grueling manual labor, and contentious crewmates. Then Captain Brown receives ominous sealed orders: the Arkansas is to sail down the Yazoo River to the Mississippi, running a dangerous gauntlet of Federal fleets and battling hostile forces to land upriver in Vicksburg. Sam knows it will be a dangerous passage. Still, he is not quite prepared for what lies ahead…or the troubling news that arrives from back home. In author James Killgore's stirring, fast-paced novel set in the south during the Civil War, young readers will relive the drama of the conflict and its devastating consequences through the eyes of a courageous teen who learns the true meaning of courage and honor on his journey to manhood.
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