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A Civil War Story

by Nancy Johnson

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-89272-757-5
Publisher: Down East

Against the wishes of his Uncle Daniel and Aunt Ruth, 16-year-old Moses Morning runs off from his Boston home to join the newly formed 54th Massachusetts Regiment of black volunteers. Found as a baby lying in the bulrushes like the biblical Moses and taken north to freedom, Moses naively thinks he can join up, head south and find his true parents. While traveling with his regiment through Georgia and Florida, he finds other young people to lead to freedom—three boys and a girl named Samantha, a black Indian who saved and treated Moses after an alligator attack in the Okefenokee Swamp. Though the battle at Fort Wagner and other fights are alluded to, this is the story of Moses being Moses and leading people to freedom, not really a story of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment in battle. The writing is clear but purposive, with occasional improbable occurrences that add life to the telling. A solid Civil War story for young readers, told from an uncommon vantage point. (author’s note, glossary, sources) (Fiction. 9-12)