The Sunday Soldier of the 17th Maine
When 20-year-old Billy Laird of Berwick excitedly enlists in the Union Army with his hometown pals, he has no idea of what lies ahead for him. Mentally challenged, he is ill prepared for the training and fighting, but he gets by with the help of his friends. Soon, however, he is sent to a different unit without them. Lonely and unsure of what to do on his own, Billy runs off and meets up with a runaway slave, Elijah. Together, and with the help of the Underground Railroad, the two make their way north to their fates. This young adult novel inspired by a real person, Billy Laird, and an actual event is a tale of friendship, loyalty and compassion and will enthrall readers of all ages. It was painstakingly researched by Flahive and provides a wealth of information about Mainers role in the Civil War.
Jean Mary Flahive, who has had a lifelong interest in the Civil War, is a member of the University of Maine System Board of Trustees. She has taught college courses and has worked as a grant writer, fundraiser and project developer. She has won numerous awards for her work and community service. Billy Boy is her first novel. She lives in Falmouth, Maine, with her husband.