9780440228387

Soldier's Heart

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780440228387

  • ISBN10:

    0440228387

  • Format: Trade Book
  • Copyright: 9/12/2000
  • Publisher: RANDOM HOUSE CHILDREN'S PUBLISHING

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Summary

In June 1861, when the Civil War began, Charley Goddard enlisted in the First Minnesota Volunteers. He was 15. He didn't know what a "shooting war" meant or what he was fighting for. But he didn't want to miss out on a great adventure. The "shooting war" turned out to be the horror of combat and the wild luck of survival; how it feels to cross a field toward the enemy, waiting for fire. When he entered the service he was a boy. When he came back he was different; he was only 19, but he was a man with "soldier's heart," later known as "battle fatigue."

Author Biography

Gary Paulsen is the author of more than 100 books.

Excerpts

            
            He heard it all, Charley did; heard the drums and songs and slogans
            and knew what everybody and his rooster was crowing.

            There was going to be a shooting war. They were having town meetings
            and nailing up posters all over Minnesota and the excitement was so
            high Charley had seen girls faint at the meetings, just faint from
            the noise and hullabaloo. It was better than a circus. Or what he
            thought a circus must be like. He'd never seen one. He'd never seen
            anything but Winona, Minnesota, and the river five miles each way
            from town.

            There would be a shooting war. There were rebels who had violated
            the law and fired on Fort Sumter and the only thing they'd respect
            was steel, it was said, and he knew they were right, and the Union
            was right, and one other thing they said as well--if a man didn't
            hurry he'd miss it. The only shooting war to come in a man's life
            and if a man didn't step right along he'd miss the whole thing.

            Charley didn't figure to miss it. The only problem was that Charley
            wasn't rightly a man yet, at least not to the army. He was fifteen
            and while he worked as a man worked, in the fields all of a day and
            into night, and looked like a man standing tall and just a bit thin
            with hands so big they covered a stove lid, he didn't make a beard
            yet and his voice had only just dropped enough so he could talk with
            men.
            If they knew, he thought, if they knew he was but fifteen they wouldn't
            take him at all.

            But Charley watched and Charley listened and Charley learned.

            

            

Excerpted from Soldier's Heart: Being the Story of the Enlistment and Due Service of the Boy Charley Goddard in the First Minnesota Volunteers by Gary Paulsen
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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