Manly Wade Wellman did an immense amount of research to fit this book together so well. It's based on the stories of 5 men: George Wills, Cary Whitaker, Sim Whitaker, Johnny Beavens, and Billy Beavens; kinsman, who enlisted in the Confederate Army to fight for what they believed. Where did they go? How did they feel? What did they do day to day? What did they see? How did they live and die? It's all in there. My original interest in the book was because these men are my kinsman. A good deal of information was taken from letters that my Great-great-great Uncle George wrote to his sister, my great-great grandmother, Lucy Wills Hunter. (She's listed in the index along with bookoodles of other people who were sources of information.) I'm not a history fan but Wellman helped me to get to know these men, my kinsman. Pulling from his vast resources, he was able to fill in the gaps that are often left in history books. If this book peaked my interest in history, it's got to be good! Hey, it was nominated for a Pulitzer in 1956!