The main character of the novel, twelve-year-old William Page is older than his years as a result of having to live through the tragic circumstances surrounding the Civil War, including the death of his entire family. When the story begins, he is stubborn, opinionated, bitter, angry, and grieving for his family. As the story progresses, readers learn that he is resourceful, a hard worker, cautious and prudent in dealing with aggressive people, and quick to admit mistakes and correct them. His stubbornness changes slowly as he recognizes that not many things are black and white; rather, many human issues, especially related to the war and principles, have many different shades. By the end of the story, Will has resolved much of his anger, is more confident in himself, and is moving well along the path of recovery and maturity.
Ten-year-old Megan Jones is William’s cousin. She is a happy person who tries to see the good in all people. She vehemently defends her father’s decision to not fight in the war, and she provides the opposing viewpoint to many of Will’s assumptions about the North. Meg becomes a good friend to Will and often provides comfort and support to him when he is struggling. Despite her friendly nature, she stands up for what she believes in, even if it means offending; however, she is quick to apologize and mend fences. She is a peacemaker and serves as a calming influence to her family.
Uncle Jed Jones
Jed Jones is William’s uncle. He is a very independent man who always strives to do what he feels is right in his heart, despite what others might think of him as a result or what society might dictate is right or wrong. His principled nature leads him to avoid fighting in the Civil War. He feels that it is wrong to enslave a human being; however, he does not feel, as many others did in the Civil War, that fighting his fellow countrymen...
(The entire section is 803 words.)