My Brother Sam Is Dead
by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
Jeremiah "Jerry" Sanford
Here's what we know about little Jerry Sanford:
- He's Tim's friend, and he's few years younger than Tim.
- Also, he fishes.
Yep. That's about it. All in all, seems like his life is a-okay.
But things goes downhill quickly when he gets captured by the British troops. They put him on a prison ship, and a few weeks later, he's dead. Seem unfair? Well, Mrs. Meeker and Betsy would agree. Take a look at the conversation they have after Jerry is dead:
"Jerry? He's dead?"
"Nobody understands it. They put him on a prison ship and he got sick and died in three weeks. It doesn't make any sense. You can understand why they took Mr. Rogers or Captain Betts, but why imprison a ten-year-old boy?"
"What harm could he have done them? This war has turned men into animals," Mother said. (12.6-8)
It's always horrible when someone dies during a war. But for Mrs. Meeker and Betsy, Jerry's youth makes it that much worse. Did you notice how they emphasize Jerry's age and innocence? Jerry's fate is a harsh reminder that war can kill absolutely anybody.