Cyrus Holt was a boy during the Civil War, which lasted from his ninth to his thirteenth year. Not a hero, nor a drummer, nor a shaper of history, he lived at home on an upstate New York farm. He helped make bandages to send to the front. He said goodbye to cousins and friends. He saw some come back ill and some come back crippled. Some never came back. He was uniform conscious and drilled as a boy Zouave. He listened to all the stories the furloughed soldiers told and he went to every rally. He did his chores and wished he were older. He practiced sleeping out on the ground and steeled himself to kill and eat his pet rabbit as a soldier would. As central characters go, Cyrus is not one of the great movers of events. He is refreshing. As a witness to homefront activities and tensions, this episodic story will satisfy the questions about what it was like in Civil War days, for almost no one is left now who can. It's like a small, complete piece of time set down -- church, general store, farm, kitchen, village government, and news from the front. No information accompanied the galleys, but a not very difficult guess is that the author made judicious use of diaries, letters, and reminiscences.