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Sam is the oldest brother in the Meeker family. When he arrives home from college, he announces that he's a Patriot. This means he's joining the Continental Army to fight against England in the American Revolutionary War.
Sam and his dad get in a huge fight about this war business. Sam runs away and steals his dad's gun.
Sam gets a visit from Tim while he's hiding out in Tom Warrups' hut. He also gets lots of support from Betsy Read.
After a while away from Redding with his troops, Sam returns to hide out in Tom's hut again. He gets another visit from Tim, but this time Tim steals his gun. After a huge fight, Sam takes his gun back and runs away. Again.
Sam returns to Redding after a really long time away. He has a sweet reunion with his mom and Tim, but there are also some squabbles.
This is just a quick visit, and then Sam and his troops are off again.
A year and a half later, Sam comes back to Redding. His troops are camping out nearby, so he'll be around for a few months.
When some Meeker cattle are stolen, Sam runs after the thieves. These thieves turn out to be super-jerks who accuse Sam of being the real cow thief. What cockamamie.
After a sham trial, Sam is sentenced to be killed. Various pleas from his mom and Tim can't change General Putnam's mind.
On execution day, Sam is shot multiple times and dies.