Captured by the Union Army and paroled after the battle of Wilson's Creek, teenage farm boy Alistair Durant returns home to Clay County, Missouri -- but soon learns that Kansas jayhawkers will make things hard for any Southern-sympathizing family. So he reluctantly joins his new friend, Beans Kimbrough, a rich city teen from Oceola, Missouri, and enlists in a regiment run by a new Southern hero, William Clarke Quantrill. But Alistair will soon learn than the fight on the Missouri-Kansas border is anything but a "Civil" war. It's bloody and butchery, and Quantrill isn't more of an manipulator and opportunist than a hero of the Cause.
Soon, Alistair and Beans will be sent on a spy mission to Lawrence, Kansas. And their lives will be changed by what will soon happen.
Booklist: (STARRED REVIEW) "The prolific Boggs chronicles one of the more painful episodes of the Civil War: the border violence between Southern-sympathizing Missouri bushwhackers and Union-sympathzing Kansas jayhawkers. … Boggs turns in a fine effort here, with a subtle appreciation of race relations, the uncertainty of youth, and the nuances of seemingly familiar stories."
Historical Novel Society: Boggs's "stories rarely fail to please those who enjoy tales of the West, including this book about the American Civil War and the fighting that took place in Missouri. Highly recommended not only for those who enjoy Western lore, but for Civil War buffs also."