In the midst of the American Revolution, unrest ruled the Carolinas. Settlers mustered for battle as British forces infiltrated the forests and pillaged their hard-won farms. Disguised as a man, Josie Summers flees her home in the wake of her stepfather's murder and becomes lost in the impenetrable snowy woods. She accepts a young preacher's offer of refuge, but when 'Joseph's' true identity is revealed, the Reverend John Trethman is racked with guilt at having shared his home with a young woman and, even worse, having fallen in love with her. Soon terrible events see John and Josie forced to fight on opposing sides of the war, and they despair of ever seeing one another again. On 17 January 1781, the two forces meet in a battle that will be the turning point of the Revolution.