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It is 1860, and the people of South Carolina declare that their union with the United States of America is dissolved: they are entering a war with the Northern Unionists. Nate McGregor, son of a southern plantation owner of Scottish descent, joins in the fight on the Confederate side. While the American Civil War rages between the North and the South, Walt McGregor, a young Canadian farmer whose ancestors also came from Scotland, wonders if the colonies of Upper and Lower Canada will be dragged into their neighbours' war.
The two young men are long-lost cousins; their destinies meet when an escaped slave from the South Carolina McGregor plantation follows the underground railroad up to Cornwall, near the Canadian McGregor farm. Walt helps the slave but is captured himself by an unscrupulous American bounty hunter, and sold to the Confederate army. Not only will Walt have to fight in a foreign war as a Confederate, but for a cause he despises: slavery.
The story of cousins Nate and Walt illustrates how many families were torn apart in the American Civil War and highlights the little-known fact that some Canadians were also involved in that war.