William Clarke Quantrill was a hated name during the War between the States by the Federals of the Union Army as well as by many non-combatants. But there were others who were passionate sympathizers. He was both friend and mentor, but also manipulator and opportunist. Alistair Durant was someone who came to know him in all these guises. Durant was a young Confederate soldier who was captured by the Yankees and released when he took an oath never again to bear arms against the Union. He had a long walk back to his home in Clay County, Missouri, and on this trek he met another youngster, Beans Kimbrough. The two became companions and then friends on the way to Clay County, and it is there that Beans introduces Alistair to a man calling himself Charley Hart. Hart has a fantastic plan — to organize a militia to fight against the Federals.