It is December 10th, 1862. Leigh Calvert, along with her precocious twelve year old cousin Thomas, says goodbye to her father, Colonel William Calvert of Calvert's Legion as he goes off to join General Lee's army entrenched above the town of Fredericksburg, barely three miles distant. Across the Rappahannock River lay Union General Burnside's Grand Army ready to strike but little does Colonel Calvert realize that his daughter's sympathies are not for the Army of Northern Virginia but with the Union to which she long ago pledged her faith and when, several days later, she finds a badly wounded Union Officer dying in her barn, she must struggle to keep his presence a secret from her father, his returning men and her Yankee-hating family who have just refugeed from Fredericksburg to winter at Oak Field, the Calvert homestead. But the unknown officer has a story of his own to tell which comprises much of the story. Sent home to England from an Indian army post at the age of twelve by his father, James Merrill has lived a lonely and loveless life at school and at the home of his father's aristocratic relatives in London. What twists of fate bring him to the Calvert home makes for one of the most unusual stories every told of the Civil War.