Will Jim Mundy, the poor preacher's boy from North Carolina, ever win the lovely hand of the aristocratic Miss Jane Ferro? Of course he does, in this entertaining and often quite powerful combination of the picaresque and the grimly realistic. The roguish Mundy meets with a variety of misadventures on his personal road from enlistment to Appomattox: forced to run from a humiliating defeat in his first battle, he survives Malvern Hill, Harpers Ferry, and Sharpsburg, but loses both an eye and his freedom at Gettysburg. Yet the ever-clever Mundy escapes from the horrifying prisoners' camp at Johnson's Island on Lake Erie and returns to his decimated company until the bitter surrender. The misadventures of Mundy--his lessons in battle and his lessons in love and lust--keep the story moving briskly, but Fowler, the publisher of The Civil War Times Illustrated, also has his military history solidly bulwarked and includes selectively detailed and convincingly gruesome descriptions of major battles in the eastern sector. Neither totally Reb nor Yank in its angle of attack, this is historical yarning quite a few cuts above the John lakes school of design.