The collection consists of a memoir of John M. Porter's activities during the Civil War. Porter describes joining the Buckner Guides and night scouting missions around and behind enemy lines. Not long after rejoining his unit, the Buckner Guides disbanded and Porter joined the 9th Kentucky Cavalry. Porter details the sabotage of a Union train, picket duty near McMinnville, Tenn., and his capture in Kentucky. Detailed descriptions reflect his imprisonment on Johnson's Island in the Sandusky Bay area of Lake Erie off the coast of Ohio, including food, climate, a failed escape attempt, and the burial of a fellow prisoner. Released in a prisoner exchange, Porter was transported to Richmond, Va., where he notes inflation in prices of goods and discusses the evacuation of Richmond and President Jefferson Davis' retreat to Danville, Va. Traveling south in search of an army not near surrender, he describes the destruction along the path of Sherman's "March to the Sea"