An intimate portrait of the Civil War, based on the real-life experiences of Charles Henry Dickey. His father, T. Lyle Dickey, practices law in the same courtrooms as Abraham Lincoln. While growing up, Charlie knows Mr. Lincoln as a family friend. When Fort Sumter fell, Charlie musters into the Fourth Illinois Cavalry, serves as General Sherman's bugler, member of General Grant’s escort and fights alongside African American troops. He also falls in love with a beautiful southern belle, but the chaos of war makes happiness seem impossible. When President Lincoln is assassinated, the nation loses its best chance for reconciliation, and war threatens to become permanent.