Jane Powell, daughter of Leven Powell, cares for her widowed mother while waiting for the return of her betrothed, George Morgan White Eyes, who disappeared out west. Jane thinks George is dead, killed by agents of Thomas Jefferson.
Jane’s father fought with George Washington at Valley Forge and for his services received warrants for land in Ohio which he gave to his oldest son Billy. When Jane’s two brothers visit their mother they find Billy who is being chased by thugs claiming his land. Billy tells them that George Morgan White Eyes is alive.
Billy leaves for Winchester, where he meets George Morgan White Eyes and fighters from Ohio. Billy’s brother Cuthbert, mayor of Alexandria, sends militia to help, and his brother Burr, member of Virginia’s General Assembly, goes to Winchester hoping to negotiate a settlement.
Sally, Leven’s widow, and her house servants anxiously send their grandchildren through the woods to Winchester to find news of Billy. These four teenagers, two boys and two girls, make it through the dark woods but survive attackers and are rescued by a mother bear. By the time all principals get near Winchester there are several hundred armed men ready to face each other in battle over the Ohio land.