**Winner of the Michael Shaara Prize for Excellence in Civil War Fiction**
**Washington Post Best 50 Books of the Year**
Set during the Civil War, this stunning novel from bestselling author Dennis McFarland follows a nineteen-year-old private who is struggling to regain his identity in an overturned American landscape.
In the winter of 1864, Summerfield Hayes, a pitcher for the famous Eckford Club, enlists in the Union army, leaving his beloved sister alone in their Brooklyn home. After a particularly grim experience on the battlefield—deserted by his comrades and suffering from deafness and disorientation—he attempts to make his way home but instead lands in a Washington military hospital, mute and unable even to write his name. Among the people he encounters in this twilit realm—including a compassionate drug-addicted amputee, the ward matron who only appears to be his enemy, and the captain who is convinced that Hayes is faking his illness—is a gray-bearded eccentric who visits the ward daily and becomes Hayes’s strongest advocate: Walt Whitman.