Activities, Study Guides, and Lesson Plans for


Escape from Guerrilla Warfare in 1863

by Dee Ann Miller, assisted by Nancy Ketter, cover by Eddie Egesi

A homeless boy courageously lives for peace in a world of conflict

Image of Book Cover

Even if Joshua Carter lives to see his 14th birthday, there won't be much to celebrate. After spending half his life in a war zone, 1863 is turning out to be the worst year yet, with no relief in sight. Pa's been missing for days. Now, thanks to orders approved by President Lincoln, the family will be out on hot, dusty roads tomorrow morning, homeless along with 20,000 other Missourians.

Guess somebody had to do something after last month when Confederate guerrillas, known as bushwhackers, tore through Lawrence, Kansas, leaving 250 children fatherless.

"Order Number 11"--that's what the Union calls the big eviction notice. "Heck!" declares Joshua. "Nothing orderly about it." He's scrubbing manure off a tiny mule cart, wondering how he can possibly keep Old Nelly on the road for the three-week journey to Iowa, when Mr. Mullins arrives from next door with devastating news.

In spite of his sorrow, Joshua discovers hope the next morning, buried like hidden treasure, in the ground beneath his feet.

Of course, you know all about that buried treasure if you've read Just Following Orders. You've laughed at the antics of Joshua's little brothers, their half-Cherokee grandfather, and the old mule who got to be more trouble than she was worth. You also know of the Carter's exciting adventures, along with the horrific suspense of waiting to discover the outcome of the war and the news of what happened to Pa.

So you're ready to jump right into this site. Download some music while you whip up a batch of "cry babies" from "Mighty Fine Eating," and sit down to discover lots more about the enormous challenges Joshua Carter faced. If you still need to order the book, hurry and do so. Meanwhile, look around to get an idea of the adventures awaiting you, once you begin reading.