February 2012 ** This interesting chapter-book renews the question of, "What genre is it?" I was initially drawn to it because I live in a neighborhood now known as Herron-Morton, and my home rests on ground once occupied by Camp Morton's guards. Also, as a fourth grade teacher, my students study Indiana's history, and I knew several would be interested in the fictionalized experiences of this boy who was just a few years older than they.
Immel came to write Captured! A Boy Trapped in the Civil War
because she'd read a brief account of a boy cutting fire wood in the forests of Tennessee during the American Civil War. He was taken by Confederate troops, who wanted his horse and wagon. Following a battle, the Confederates were captured by the Union troops and the boy (who wasn't a soldier) was incarcerated in Camp Morton, Indianapolis, a Union PoW camp.
Immel makes clear that this is a work of fiction. There aren't any primary sources to reveal the exact dialogue or day-to-day events in this boy's life. However, she found herself wondering what his experiences might have been like, so she made them up.