Sully's journey commences at age 16 when he finds unexpected passage from his home in Ireland to America. He arrives in New York on what turns out to be the eve of the infamous New York Draft Riots. He witnesses them from start to finish and records in great detail all that he saw - from what led up to them, to the incredible and often horrible acts themselves, and the aftermath of those terrible days.
After the dust settles, Sully finds himself fully integrated into the New York culture with a lot of friends - most particularly, pub owners John and Mary McSorley who become instrumental in Sully's future adventures.Sully works at the New York docks during the day, and as a cook, bartender, and entertainer at McSorley's in the evening. During this time, Sully also befriends a fellow worker, Catherine McCarty and her young son Henry – who he was destined to meet up with again, years later in the West. By that time though, Henry McCarty had become known as Billy the Kid.
John McSorley, besides being a great friend to Sully, is also an exceptional businessman. He recognizes Sully's restless nature, and also a good business opportunity when he sees one. Together they invent the first portable kitchen, or "chuck wagon" as it was later to become known. John decides to fund Sully, helps him get set up, and sends him off on his Western adventures to meet and deal with Wyatt Earp, Jesse James and a host of others while finding himself in the middle of such events and places as Tombstone, Dodge City, the OK Corral, the Lincoln County War, Northfield Minnesota, Wounded Knee, the Oklahoma Land Runs, Coffeyille, and much, much more.