John Griffith Allen, also known as Griff, was a 15 year-old boy living in South Carolina at the start of the Civil War. He had a hard life working on a farm, and was regularly beaten by his father. To escape this life, Griff decided to join the Confederate Army, and became Private Griff Allen. Griff fought at the Battle of Gettysburg, and was captured by the Union Army. He was sent to Point Lookout prison, which was a horrible place. Griff learned to hustle and gamble to stay alive, and make a living in the prison. He heard stories about the rich gold fields of the Dakotas and Montana. When the time came to volunteer for the U.S. Volunteers, former Confederate soldiers to be sent to the western frontier, Griff signed right up. He figured he would get to the Dakotas, fight some Indians, and then escape from the army to the gold fields. Nothing ever seemed to turn out how Griff had planned. This is a historical fiction story about a young, ignorant boy growing into manhood, and discovering the new world of the West.
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Date read: 4/29/2009