Told from the perspective of a 15 year old boy (Sheldon) who is fighting in the Civil War. While injured, he meets an African American boy (Pinkus) who rescues him. Pinkus brings Sheldon to his home where his family nurses him back to health. Marauders murder Pinkus' mother. The boys are captured by the Condederate army and sent to Andersonville; Sheldon is eventually released, Pinkus' is most likely hung. Through Pinkus the reader is able to udnerstand a little bit of what it was like to be African American during slavery and the Civil War.