- The narrator, he is fourteen at the beginning of the story. Tim greatly admires his older brother and longs to be more involved in the excitement and danger of the war.
in-depth analysis of Tim Meeker.
- Tim's older brother, he is sixteen at the beginning of the story. Sam is headstrong and often at odds with his father. A Yale student, he leaves school to fight the rebel cause and is ultimately framed as a cattle thief and shot publicly.
in-depth analysis of Sam Meeker.
- Father to Sam and Tim, he is the owner of Meeker Tavern. Mr. Meeker wants nothing to do with the war and is angry at Sam for participating in it.
- Mother to Sam and Tim, she is very religious and hard working.
- Sam's girlfriend and the daughter of Colonel Read, a prominent local Patriot. Betsy is a bold, nosy teenaged girl, very loyal to Sam and to the Rebel cause, even though she, like all women, is forbidden to get involved.
- Betsy's father, he is a staunch and aging Patriot.
- An Indian living on Colonel Read's land who allows Sam to hide out in his teepee.
- A young local boy and a friend of Tim's, he is captured by the British and dies on a prison ship.
- An elderly, loyalist preacher.
- A wealthy and somewhat shadowy local character, he claims to be a Tory but probably works for both sides. Heron asks Tim to relay a letter for him.
- He is captain of the Governor's Second Foot Guard, Sam's company.
- The leader of the Rebels staying in Redding, he is a rigid and unemotional man who sentences Sam to death as an example to the rest of the troops.
- One of Sam's officers in Redding, he is slightly more sympathetic than General Putnam.
- Tim and Sam's uncle in New Salem.
- Sam and Tim's cousin in New Salem. Ezekial's family hosts Tim and his father when they travel to Verplancks Point.
- A local Patriot who is captured and then released by the British.
- A local Patriot who is killed by the British.
- A local black man who is beheaded by the British.
- The Redding doctor.