In the fourth book of this ten-volume series, the action is divided between northern Virginia and the western front. In Vickburg, Cory Brannon finds Lucille Farrell, his sweetheart, and also helps to establish a supply line from Texas, bringing food, weapons, and ammunition into the besieged city. That path, however, is strewn with renegades and outlaws, and on the horizon there may be a rival for Lucille's affections. Meanwhile, in Culpeper County, Virginia, after a brief visit to the family farm by Will and Mac, the newlywed Titus feels obliged to answer the call to duty. The South gains a gifted rifleman in time for the December 13, 1862, battle of Fredericksburg. Also thrown into the fray is Nathan Hatcher, former beau to Cordelia Brannon, although his uniform is Union blue. After the terrible Federal defeat, news comes that Titus has been lost. In her grief, Titu's widow, Polly, finds a comforting friend in Henry, the youngest of the Brannon sons. As winter turns to spring in early 1863, a fitful calm pervades the Virginia front until the Union army marches into the Virginia wilderness again and confidently stalks Robert E. Lee. Near a roadside inn at Chancellorsville, Will and Mac witness the boldest move a field commander can make and observe firsthand the greatest loss the Confederacy can ill afford--the wounding and subsequent death of Stonewall Jackson.