In 1863, the War Between the States is dividing more than just a nation. To escape the conflict, Jessica Hale and her family flee their Kentucky homestead and head for the Nevada Territory. Her brother, Ambrose, committed to the Confederates, rejoins the Kentucky militia and is disowned by his father. But the worst is yet to come. When Unionists presume the family to be Confederate sympathizers, they set a devastating fire to their home. All alone and then "kidnapped" by cattleman Jake Bennett, Jessica is taken to a ranch deep in the Sierra Nevada wilderness. But, can Jessica overcome her resentment toward Jake for failing to save her family? When Jake launches a plan to help Jessica's brother escape from prison camp, she sees him for the honest, good-hearted Christian man that he is and now knows the depth of his love for her. Through the lingering smoke and smoldering ashes from her ruined home and murdered family.