With 8 soldiers hanged for staging a mutiny in the 24th Infantry, Bertha is worried about Simon. Criticizing the army during wartime isn't necessarily a safe practice however. Will Palmer finds that the local draft board isn't applying the rules fairly to blacks. The army is commanded by white officers only and black men get little respect. One of Simon's fellow black soldier, Heywood, is badly beaten by a State Trooper and some in the platoon want to take revenge, but its Heywood who talks sense into them. They're soon sent overseas and in France face the Germans in combat but failure to provide covering artillery fire leads to death as they attempt to take out a machine-gun nest. While in the trenches, Simon learns that his father died on the operating table. He is also wounded in a gas attack and in hospital meets a Senegalese soldier. They celebrate Armistice day and make plans for the future, Simon believes that it will be different for blacks at home now that they've fought for their country. That's not to be however as whites reassert their authority. Simon and Bertha are married but Will's not too happy when he learns the newlyweds will soon be leaving for Ithaca, New York where Simon will continue his studies at Cornell University- Written by garykmcd
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