After completing his medical training at Harvard, Phillip Burke becomes engaged before leaving to serve in the Army during the Civil War. He is captured early in the war, and as a Confederate prisoner he serves as a surgeon in a southern mansion owned by Josiah Wakefield. Josiah's son Malcolm has married Clarissa Giles and has provided an heir to his family, but he doesn't treat his wife with respect and prefers the comforts of his favorite slave instead. As war rages on, Malcolm leaves to join the fight. When the Union prisoner, Captain Burke, is brought to the Wakefield home hospital as a surgeon, he meets Clarissa. An immediate spark between the two causes Clarissa to insist on staying to help Captain Burke with the wounded soldiers. Although bound to other people on opposite sides of the war, Clarissa and Phillip can't help falling in love.