Against his family’s wishes, a fifteen year old joins the Confederate Navy and learns that honor can be a smokescreen for arrogance and pride.
It is early summer in 1862 and the Civil War is raging. Eager to serve on behalf of the South, fifteen-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 orders for the Arkansas to sail to the Mississippi River, running a dangerous gauntlet of Federal fleets. Sam knows it will be a risky 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 during one of the most audacious naval battles of 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.