Bill is only a physical presence in the beginning of the book, but his decision to fight for the south has a presence of its own throughout the text. Bill simply wants to do the right thing, and he does not know what that is. Much like President Lincoln, he thinks that the two choices before him are both wrong—the only question is which is the lesser of two evils. His decision to fight for the South is brave, because it combines the courage of fighting with the fortitude of defying expectations and risking estrangement from friends, family, and the community-at-large. Shadrach tells Jethro that even though Bill is on the other side, he should be proud of Bill's bravery and steadfast attempt to do what is right.
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