On the eve of Shiloh, one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, a mysterious visitor appears at General William Tecumseh Sherman's camp. Without family or home, Jesse who knows nothing of warfare, yet uncannily familiar with even the most intimate details of Sherman's personal life and career. Jesse wants only to stay by Sherman's side for reasons he's not revealing. Unreceptive at first to becoming a father figure, Sherman is finally unable to resist such devotion and tenacity. He takes Jesse under his wing, determined to train this enigmatic creature in the art of war--and provide the strength and wisdom needed to survive its horrors.