Abigale Tate, 24, has lost her father and husband in the Civil War, and now General Sherman is about to invade Savannah. She feels despondent and cynical. She attends a black church and is enthralled by the reverend, a free colored man. They have a furtive affair, which ends when she meets a Yankee major. Along the way she is beset by a teenage sister who has no boundaries in seeking love, a stalking German immigrant, and an outlaw brother who is hunted by the very man she hopes to marry.