55 pages 1 hour read

Irene Hunt

Across Five Aprils

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 1964

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Chapters 10-12

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 10 Summary

After General Burnside is replaced, Shad miraculously survives the Battle of Chancellorsville though his side suffers heavy losses. After witnessing so much death, in his next letter, Shad tries to make Jenny face the reality that he most likely will never be coming home. He knows all those other young men had plans for the future too and says it would be “a matter of supreme egotism” (149) to imagine that his own dreams matter more than theirs.

Eb rejoins the army, and although many of the other soldiers hate him, he says that he’s just glad to have another chance at life. By this point in the war, many people have become critical of General Grant and wonder why Lincoln doesn’t fire him. Meanwhile, General Lee is making headway into Northern territory, and many fear he’s going to seize the capitol. The Battle of Gettysburg is a significant Union victory, but the death toll is horrifically high. The Union achieves another victory shortly afterward at the Siege of Vicksburg, after which public opinion of General Grant turns positive once more. The Creightons receive a letter from Shad’s aunt, who works at a hospital in Washington, DC. She informs them that Shad was wounded at Gettysburg; his wounds became gangrenous, and she’s doubtful that he’s going to survive.