Charley Skedaddle Essay Research Paper Charley SkedaddleCharley

Charley Skedaddle Essay, Research Paper

Charley Skedaddle

Charley Skeddaddle is a story that takes place during

the Civil War (1861-1865) in the North. The main character

is Charley Stephen Quinn. He was a young boy growing up in

New York City without parents. Charley s older brother

Johnny died at the Battle of Gettysburg. We learned about

Johnny through Charley s memories. He lives with his older

sister Noreen, who recently became engaged to be married.

Charley was involved in a street gang called the Bowery


Charley has had a rough life and has difficulty

learning to accept his brother s death. He wants to get

revenge against the Confederate soldiers and this motivates

him to join the Union army. He is inspired when he sees a

military parade and a friend of his brother, or so he

believes. That would be a perfect solution to his problems

at home and a way to punish those responsible for his

brother s death. He had admired Johnny greatly and felt the

only answer was to sneak into the army. Charley could not

enlist because he was only 12 years old. He was determined

to be a hero like his brother.

Since Charley was too young to be a soldier he became a

drummer-boy for the army. He trained and worked hard to be a

good one. He may have been physically ready for his first

battle, but emotionally he was not. I don t think he really

knew what killing a person involved. All of his life he

watched the people he cared about be taken away from him.

First, it was his parents, then Johnny, then Noreen and now

it was about to happen again. This time it was about Gem,

the only person who took an interest in him during battle.

Gem was killed and this caused Charley s anger to peak. He

shot the Confederate who killed his friend.

After realizing what he had done he panics and runs. He

keeps running and that us when he earns the name Charley

Skedaddle. It is a name that sticks with him for a long

time. He was seen by others as being a coward for running.

Charley manages to escape the battle fields by hiding

in the forest. He was caught by the Confederates but they

released him. He finds shelter with Granny Jershua. It is

with her he grows up and learns about life and its

responsibilities. When he arrived at Granny s house he was a

coward who did not feel worthy of any respect. We see a

different Charley leave Granny s house. It is someone who is

confidant and worthy of respect from others.

Charley and Granny each helped the other. Granny became

the grandmother he never had and it felt good.

His maturity is proven when he sets out to rescue

Granny. He could have run away but he didn t. He was

determined to rescue Granny and didn t fear for his own

safety. Charley refused to leave Granny until she was well

enough to take care of herself. He was persuaded to leave in

fear of being found for who he really was. Charley leaves

with the understanding that he will be back someday and

plans to keep in touch.

This story is fictional but it makes you think it could

happen in any war at any time. Charley was a young boy not

much older than myself. I don t know if I would have been

that brave to join the army. He was brave but not motivated

by the correct reasons. Charley was easily influenced and

looked for excitement. Charley thought well of himself, and

this was very important to him, and the same is important to

each of us today. The way we see ourselves comes from the

way others see us.

The book made me curious about the Civil War. I learned

that it killed more Americans than any other war in history.

So many times we do things for the wrong reasons and never

question why. I do not believe in war, and feel we can

settle our differences with words, not killing. It would

have been nice to read more about Charley s later life,

because we do not know if he returns to Granny or ever sees

his sister again. At times the book seemed a little boring.


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