With Every Drop of Blood, is a book by James and Christopher Collier that is set during the Civil War between the North and the South. The protagonist in this story is Johnny. Johnny is fourteen years old and is born to a southern family. Johnny and his family live on a farm near a mountain by the Shenandoah Valley in the state of Virginia. His father is a Confederate soldier. Johnny has always been taught that African Americans were inferior. He realizes that everyone was wrong about African Americans. .
African Americans play a major role in this book. One African American that plays a major role in this story is Cush. Cush is a Black union soldier. He is a fourteen-year-old boy just like Johnny. He is a black Union Soldier and goes by the name of Private Turner. Johnny first meets Private Turner when he captures him. Johnny was taking supplies in his wagon to confederate soldiers. On his way Union Soldiers attacked him and his friends. Johnny escaped with his wagon but later was captured by Private Turner. This is the first time Johnny encounters Private Cush. .
At first sight, Johnny does not like Private Turner. He was always taught that blacks were inferior. The Union soldiers start taking Johnny to City Point where they will ship Johnny to a prison camp. As Johnny travels, he takes his bible and starts reading it. Private Turner notices and tells Johnny that he will give him food if he teaches him how to read President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Johnny is shocked that someone whom he thinks is not smart wants to learn how to read. Johnny comes up with a plan. He starts teaching Private Turner how to read, but teaches him wrong. He avoids reading with Private turner often and instead gets off the subject by asking him questions about his life. Johnny’s plan is to pretend he is Private Turner’s friend, gain his trust, and then escape.
As Johnny talks to Private Turner he finds out that Private Turner’s actual name is Cush.