Charley’s sister is marrying someone who Charley doesn’t like. Charley’s sister and her future husband are planning on sending Charley to an orphanage. Charley runs away from them to find his gang. He hears his dead brother’s old friend, Con Sullivan, call out his name.
Charley ends up walking next to Con. Charley boards the ship that the soldiers are going on. All the soldiers on the ship lost their money, and are drunk. The ship ends up in Virginia.
Charley meets someone named Jem. Jem tells Charley about being a soldier, and helps him around. The generals think he’s a stowaway, so he asks if he can join the army. The generals tell him that he can be a drummer boy. The former drummer boy, Gorman, is teaching Charley to be a drummer boy.