Study Guide

Across Five Aprils Chapter 8

By Irene Hunt

Chapter 8

  • It is fall of 1862 now, and Jethro is able to look back to the recent spring and summer and see the Union doing quite well with victories.
  • But a recent blow to the Union army takes away any confidence that was brought to the North during the earlier months.
  • The news isn't very uplifting but Jethro has to focus his thoughts on the farm.
  • Men from all over come to help rebuild Matt's farm, and even Dave Burdow donates some logs to the Creighton Fund.
  • When noon rolls around, everyone gets treated to a hearty home cooked meal courtesy of Ellen, Jenny, and Nancy.
  • Back at work, Jethro overhears some men talking about the war.
  • They're essentially throwing some shade at the Union General, McClellan.
  • And don't think Ol' Abe is safe either, because some of them are starting to doubt the president as well.
  • Days after the barn-building marathon, a letter arrives from Shad.
  • He writes of his first hardcore battle experience and his neutral opinion of General McClellan.
  • Autumn comes to a close with Antietam ending and the President sacking McClellan, replacing him with an Ambrose Burnside.
  • In December, the bloody battle of Fredericksburg makes the Creightons worried about Shad, who is believed to be fighting in it.
  • Finally Jenny receives a letter from him, so all is good with that.
  • Well except that Shad describes the bloodbath of Fredericksburg and how Burnside is very different from McClellan.
  • John also writes to the family about a battle he was in at Stones River.
  • Even though the battle is considered a "victory," thousands of men are killed.
  • News on Fredericksburg and Stones River fills all the newspapers as 1862 turns into 1863, and everyone, soldiers included, is losing hope that the war will ever come to an end.