In the spring of 1861, just prior to the onset of the Civil War, eighteen-year-old Martha Somerville finds her life rapidly changing along with the world around her. Determined to find a way to build a life with her love, Wilby, Martha focuses her energies on acquiring enough money to buy a plot of land to turn into a small farm. Her obsession takes her far from quiet Bountiful Creek, Virginia, deep into Union territory in Ohio. When war breaks out, she immediately sets her course for home before Wilby leaves to join the Confederate Army; but a wealthy suitor, a gravely ill companion, and a thief challenge her efforts to reach him in time. Yet even if she can successfully overcome her obstacles, her life dangerously parallels an ill-fated legend that threatens to keep her and the man she loves apart forever.