Richmond 1865: It is the last few days of the civil war, and Admiral Rafe Semmes of the Confederate Navy awaits orders on the CSS Virginia 2 on the James River. Rumors fly that the Yanks are winning at Five Forks on the Petersburg line; next stop Richmond.
With President Davis waiting until the last minute to leave Richmond, Rafe Semmes takes four of his wounded men to Chimbarozo Hospital, a few minutes’ walk east of downtown Richmond.
There he meets the formidable head matron, Phoebe Yates Pember. She has been managing the wounded as best she can with limited supplies. When the order comes for them to evacuate she sends those men who are able away, but decides to stay with the last few dangerously ill men.
In the tail end of the civil war Rafe and Phoebe unexpectedly find love and a reason to look forward to a life beyond the end of the war.
This sweeping tale tells of the stories of good men and women, Yanks and Confederates, during those few fraught days in 1865, and the aftermath for Rafe Semmes and Phoebe Pember.