This is American espionage before CIA suavity set in. Action, though, there is in plenty as young Terry Patchen (he was only 15 when he enlisted) scampers from front to front, behind enemy lines and among American bigwigs. He was an aide to Benjamin Tallmadge who was supervising the equivalent of the secret service. When not delivering important coded messages, Terry manages to squeeze in a good share of fighting time, side by side with his friend Joshua London, a runaway slave who had been protected by the Patchen family. The book covers the whole time that the war was going on, and consequently the narrative is stretched pretty thin. The author cites sources material for the factual content of the book, especially Tallmadge's activities. This is an adequate book for boys on one of the lesser events of a popular period.