The Civil War split the United States and now it has split the Fitzgerald Family.
Although George Fitzgerald has returned from the war, his sister, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, has chosen to remain in Washington as a volunteer nurse. The ex-Confederate spy, David Windover, has given up on his dream of being with Alice Fitzgerald and is trying to move on with his life in Cumberland, Maryland. Alice and her sons continue to haul coal along the 184.5-mile-long C&O Canal. It is dangerous work during war time because the canal runs along the Potomac River, dividing North and South.
Having endured death and loss already, Alice wonders whether remaining on the canal is worth the cost. She wants her family reunited and safe, but she can’t reconcile her feelings between David and her dead husband.
Her adopted son, Tony, has his own questions—who is he? Did his birth mother ever love him? As he tries to find out more about his birth mother and father, he stumbles onto a plan by Confederate sympathizers to sabotage the canal and burn dozens of canal boats. He enlists David’s help to try and disrupt the plot before it endangers his new family, but first they will have find out who is behind the plot.