Study Guide

General Putnam in My Brother Sam Is Dead

General Putnam

General Putnam is the strictest soldier in My Brother Sam Is Dead. Seriously, he's such a hard-nosed general that once he makes up his mind, he sticks with it. No matter what.

We get a glimpse of General Putnam's strict attitude when he sentences our dear Sam to be executed. Poor Sammy didn't even steal the cows, but General P wants to teach his soldiers a lesson: stealing is wrong, and that's that. According to Sam, this is just how the general is: "He shows no mercy when he thinks he's right" (12.64). Sadly for Sam, General Putnam's lack of mercy means he's going to get killed. And we sure aren't happy about that.

What do you think? Is General Putnam's strictness a good or a bad trait for a general to have?

Oh, P.S.: General P was a real historical figure in the American Revolutionary War. Take a look at his bio, and decide for yourself if the book does a good job portraying the real thing.