In the aftermath of a bitter and bloody war for independence, Texans have finally claimed their freedom from Mexico--but they don't have much else to brag about. Joshua Buckalew has left behind the deserted battlefields that claimed his brother Thomas. The war has cost him much but it has also given him a strong bond to the land and to the Mexican families who stood with him against the tyrannies of Santa Anna. Josh is travelling with Ramon Hernandez his best friend and the man who had fought with him, side by side. Where they are going, he isn't quite sure. His home is ashes--burned by either the retreating Texans or the advancing Mexican army--and the land is full of bandits and opportunists who would happily shoot Ramon simply because he is Mexican. Exiles in the land they had fought to liberate, Josh and Ramon struggle to rebuild their lives After the Bugles.