A thirteen-year-old boy named Jonathan is eager to join the Revolutionary War that his family is at first very enthused about. His father used to help him train, but now after he returned from a battle with a wound in his leg, he is fearful and doesn’t want his son to leave. However, when the war bell rings he leaves anyway.
He borrows a tavern owner’s gun and takes to a morning long march to battle German Hessians. He ends up being taken prisoner. The Hessians take him to an old house where he finds a young boy in a shed and a dead mother and father in a field. It distresses him. All the while he isn’t sure if he trusts or mistrusts the Hessians, but he comes to appreciate them, at least. Together they bury the two parents. Then he escapes in the night back to the army camp.
Since the Corporal murdered the boy's parents, he knew where the house was. As he leads the militia to the house, they force Jonathan to see if the Hessians were awake or asleep. He runs into the house and wakes them and tells them to run, but they decide to fight instead and they use him as their hostage.
He slips away, the Hessians all die, and he comes home to find out the Door was open and his parents were dead.