The Army of Northern Virginia, from the battles of Cross Keys to that of the Seven Days and the emergence of Stonewall Jackson as hero and strategist- this backgrounds the stories of Roan Catlett, Forney Manigoult, and young Davin Ancrum. Coming in as raw recruits, they were blooded, died the little deaths of fighting men, and sensed, before their return home the weight and power of the Northern forces. The episodes of their Army life are interspersed with sections on the military tactics and manoeuvres of North and South with illuminating snapshots of the personalities involved- Stuart, Ashby, McClelland, Banks, etc. Forney steals ogs, fears death, and is wounded; Davin gets the measles, carries out family commissions, and scouts in a balloon; Roan becomes too steeped in killing and later despair- but all three come through alive and with awareness of the integrity of their fight, of the apping of their youth, and of the travail yet to come. There's a bugle note to the telling that calls out again the brave, sad days and the brave, young men- for an audience- primarily masculine and Civil War minded.