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When young Adam Stoeckel enlists in the Sixth New Jersey Volunteer Infantry to fight alongside the boys of 1861, he never imagines he will meet a shape-shifting fox woman whose friendship will change his life, or that facing the traitor of Company E in the Battle of the Wilderness will forge in fire his own coming of age.
Adam’s new friend Copper falls in love with and marries his best friend Johnny O’Neill. Copper disguises herself as a drummer boy and joins the regiment. The Sixth New Jersey Volunteers fight in the battles of Williamsburg, Yorktown, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and others. Battle Fox documents not only each unique battle but also camp life for men with commanders whose names ring through history: Little Napoleon McClellan, Fighting Joe Hooker, and Hancock the Superb.
In the quiet times between battles, magical Copper, sometimes fox and sometimes human, introduces Adam, Johnny, and their friend Jonah to magically woven worlds of surprise and wonder from which Adam emerges with new perspective. If he survives to return home to his sweetheart Annie, Adam will not resume his apprenticeship to his immigrant father. The artist has discovered his gift.
Battle Fox is the story of a Billy Yank, one of a courageous brotherhood who can march for days, sleep on the ground in any weather, and still sing, laugh, and play knowing that madness and death march alongside them. These heroes are Adam’s brothers-in-arms, and it is Adam, in the terrible firestorm of the Battle of the Wilderness, who must confront the traitor in their midst before the turncoat destroys them all.