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."