Paul Drury, 16, lives in a log cabin in the wilderness that was Montgomery County, Maryland in the mid 1800s. He is needed at home, but with help from the people of Barnesville, his father is able to cope without his son. Paul joins the militia and is swept into a soldier's life, fighting the battles of the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War. Under Johan DeKalb, Horatio Gates, Daniel Morgan, Otho Holland Williams, Nathaniel Greene and finally George Washington, Paul learns to kill or die in bloody hand-to-hand combat. On a secret mission, he is startled by an ivory-billed woodpecker, finding beauty and joy in nature, and in the pulchritude of the other sex.
Peg Coleman lives on a small farm near Barnesville, Maryland and runs a Bed & Breakfast in the 18th century log cabin that she restored. A lifelong student of history and good fiction, she gardens and chain saws when she's not reading.