From the bestselling author of The Lost Regiment series comes this factually based narrative of the black military experience in the Civil War. I was born a slave, as was my father before me, but I shall die a free man. Thus begins the poignant story of Samuel Washburn, born a slave in 1850. A young masters cruelty leads to an unforeseen confrontation, which results in Sam and his cousin fleeing the plantation for their lives. They run north to freedom, only to return south to fight for the greater cause. Though still a boy, Sam becomes a regimental drummer with a colored regiment and sees action in the Wilderness campaign at Fredericksburg and Petersburg, as well as at the bloody Battle of the Crater in July of 1864. Sams voice offers a unique and insightful perspective on the carnage of the War between the States and the toll it took on both young and old, black and white.