An experienced- and superior- historical novelist turns his hand to a book for the teens. John Brick injects unique credibility into his superb story of two Union soldiers captured in the Battle of the Wilderness and sent to the notorious Andersonville. With all the obvious means of escape blocked, Matt convinces Eben of an insane yet feasible plan, whereby they are buried by their fellow prisoners as ""dead"" and wait as a thin shaft of air connects them to life for the right moment to run. Once on the go, they are chased by vicious bloodhounds, steal two horses from a rebel outpost for which Eben pays with a serious rifle wound, find refuge with a freed slave and comfort in the home of two female Yankee sympathizers. Each lap of the race, each encounter or near-brush with the enemy comes across in vivid suspenseful terms pushing the reader onward with Matt to General Sherman. For it is the miracle of an escapee from Andersonville that will spur Union forces to free the suffering inmates. The loyalty between the boys is touching yet unsentimental and the drama itself is unembellished with the make-believe overtones readers have learned to expect in this sort of story.