In chapter 10, of "Across Five Aprils," Jethro receives a letter from his brother Eb. Eb has rejoined the army after a brief period of desertion. Jethro had written to President Lincoln and learned that if a soldier who had deserted returned to his unit by a specific date he would be punished, but not shot for desertion. Eb returned and explains to Jethro in his letter that even though a lot of soldiers hate him for running off it was his choice and he will accept whatever they say or do to him because he has to accept responsibility for his actions. He tells Jethro,
"It's hard to have sum fellers hate you fer what you done but the blame is mine and Ill take what they say to me and do my job till I fall over." (pg 150)
Eb is so grateful that he was permitted to return to the army without being shot, he will serve until they tell him not to serve or until he is killed. He feels lucky to have the second chance.