Young Rob Johnson just wants to farm his family's land in Morgan County, Virginia, and court pretty Fannie Swann, but the outbreak of war between the North and the South plunges him into a world of treachery and violence. Threatened by Rebel conscription gangs and Yankee foragers, Rob finally joins the 48th Virginia Infantry and experiences the horrors of war.
Rob still thinks of Fannie, who has been playing a dangerous game for the Southern cause. He's also attracted to brave Laura Meeks, who he saved from a group of renegades. Sick of death and fighting, Rob finds work among Quakers and meets Abigail Treverton - the two are immediately drawn to each other. Treachery follows him, however, and Rob ends up a Yankee prisoner of war. He and his comrades escape, and he returns to find Abigail married. But what of Laura and the child she says is his? Or Fannie, who was his first love?
Rob's troubles do not end with the Confederate surrender, for resentment and bitterness run deep between those who supported the South and those who were on the side of the North. After all he has endured, will Rob be able to keep his family farm and make a home for himself and those he loves?