In the antebellum American South, a family who were among the first to enter east central Mississippi in the 1830s are forced into the Civil War despite their opposition to slavery. Many hardships in the unspoiled wilderness, their unusual friendship with the native Choctaws, and extreme trials following the crushing events of defeat in the war are woven into this story that takes the reader back into an era when a society that supported slavery as an institution was considered both moral and necessary. JOHNNY NEIL SMITH has always been interested in history and as an educator in Mississippi and Georgia, has taught Mississippi, Georgia, American and World History. He is now retired as headmaster of Piedmont Academy in Monticello, Georgia. Over the years, he has spent numerous hours reading about the War Between the States and visiting battlefields where his great-grandfathers fought. The main character, John Wilson, was named after his grandfather and many of the accounts of battle and prison life relate to his great grandfather, Joseph Williams, who lost an arm in the battle for Atlanta and was sent to a Federal prison in Illinois. Smith has tried to recapture the emotion that existed during this time in history as was told to him by people who lived during that era. In one sense, this is their story.