The great war between the Northern and Southern States of America has the special interest for English boys of having been a struggle between two sections of a people akin to us in race and language—a struggle fought out by each side with unusual intensity of conviction in the rightness of its cause, and abounding in heroic incidents. Of these points Mr. Henty has made admirable use in this story of a young Virginian planter, who, after bravely proving his sympathy with the slaves, serves with no less courage and enthusiasm under Lee and Jackson through the most exciting events of the struggle. He has many hairbreadth escapes, is several times wounded and twice taken prisoner; but his courage and readiness bring him safely through all difficulties.
school; the rest of the day was his own, and he would often ride off with some of his schoolfellows who had also come in from a distance, and not return home till late in the evening. Vincent took after his English father rather than his Virginian mother both in appearance and character, and was likely to become as tall and brawny a man as the former had been when he first won the love of the rich Virginian heiress.
He was full of life and energy, and in this respect offered a strong contrast to most of his schoolfellows of the same age. For although splendid riders and keen sportsmen, the planters of Virginia were in other respects inclined to indolence; the result partly of the climate, partly of their being waited upon from childhood by attendants ready to carry out every wish. He had his father's cheerful disposition and good temper, together with the decisive manner so frequently acquired by a service in the army, and at the same time he had something of the warmth and enthusiasm of the Virginian