Tim Meeker

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.

Read an in-depth analysis of Tim Meeker.

Sam 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.

Read an in-depth analysis of Sam Meeker.

Eliphalet 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.

Read an in-depth analysis of Eliphalet Meeker.

Susannah Meeker

Mother to Sam and Tim, she is very religious and hard working.

Betsy Read

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.

Colonel Read

Betsy's father, he is a staunch and aging Patriot.

Tom Warrups

An Indian living on Colonel Read's land who allows Sam to hide out in his teepee.

Jerry Sanford

A young local boy and a friend of Tim's, he is captured by the British and dies on a prison ship.

Mr. Beach

An elderly, loyalist preacher.

Mr. Heron

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.

Benedict Arnold

He is captain of the Governor's Second Foot Guard, Sam's company.

General Putnam

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.

Colonel Parsons

One of Sam's officers in Redding, he is slightly more sympathetic than General Putnam.

Mr. Platt

Tim and Sam's uncle in New Salem.

Ezekiel Platt

Sam and Tim's cousin in New Salem. Ezekial's family hosts Tim and his father when they travel to Verplancks Point.

Captain Betts

A local Patriot who is captured and then released by the British.

Captain Starr

A local Patriot who is killed by the British.


A local black man who is beheaded by the British.

Dr. Hobart

The Redding doctor.