Hattie Peake loves to explore her seaside town with her best friend, Millie, in search of new adventures. Together they rummage through clumps of vines and gaze high into trees, hoping to discover new species of birds. Someday, Hattie hopes to become a teacher like her mother, who is deeply devoted to educating the children of slaves so that they might have a leg up in life if they are ever freed.
When the Civil War breaks out, Hattie's world is turned upside down. Soldiers from the North and South roam the countryside itching for a battle. Even her beloved birds start behaving strangely. Hattie and her mother are pursued by brutal patrols, and her family must flee a town engulfed in flames. In the midst of the chaos, Hattie meets and befriends a Union general in charge of nearby Fortress Monroe.
Based on true events, Hampton Hattiefollows the lives of real people as they struggle to survive one of our country's darkest periods.