Shem Sugg's story starts with a small boy on someone else's farm, where he cares for their horses because he is an orphan. He is a southern citizen that loves to care for horses and thinks of them as his family.
My name's Shem. I sure am please to know you
Shum Suggs travels from Arkansas to Virginia on foot, looking to join the cavalry and care for their horses. He also goes because he was told if he joins, he might get his own horse.
After finding the cavalry Shem cares for the horses, grooming them for hours a day, taking care of them when they got sick, and mending saddles.
How could anyone do this?
Measles sweep through the camp of soldiers, and a man dies. The captain gives Shem the man's horse, telling him that he could join Company A. The horse is named Greta. It's a weak horse, with rotten teeth, a ragged mane and small, but he loved him all the same.
Shem waits in brush with his fellow soldiers. The battle concludes with a total win for Shem's side, but he feels guilty after shooting a man.
As Shem rode on near Washington he looked over a field. There he saw dead horses everywhere. After a moment of taking in what he'd seen, he grabbed a shovel, and started burying horses