Joseph Hoover of the 121st New York Volunteer Infantry, promoted to the rank of Corporal but a month ago, sits in the crowded confines of a cattle car. His experience tells him to keep his head down, but always aware of some opportunity. He is headed for the stockade near Florence, SC. Arriving with nearly 600 other prisoners, they find the stockade incomplete, and they are kept in a closely guarded camp in a field next to the train tracks near to where they disembarked the train. After a few days, he has a chance and together with his friend Thomas they make a run for it and escape. Now on the run they are prisoners to the woods and the unfamiliar territory, no food , no shelter and hope fading fast. They keep walking, eating berries and whatever they can scrounge up. Exhausted they finally reach a plantation and they ask the slaves for help. Their spirits sore when they are helped by slaves who see in the two soldiers, the opportunity they wish they had. To Hoover's amazement, help comes from those that have so little. They move on and end up at yet another plantation where they are caught but made to feel safe. While the master of the house sends for the militia to come get them. They are helped by a slave named Jim Young, and they run. Being chased once again they take to river and make their way to New Bern. They end up on yet another plantation, but this time the slaves are part of what is now known as the underground railroad. They help the two soldiers and Jim going from contact to contact. They help them get back to the Union lines, but not without an amazing adventure. Based on the actual Diary of 1864 written by Joseph Hoover.