Buffered by Spanish possessions to the south and by free states and two rivers to the north, Arkansas has become a country of its own: a hybrid confederation of former slaves, Native American Cherokee and Creek clans, and white abolitionists - including one charismatic warrior who has gone from American hero to bête noire. Irish-born Patrick Driscol is building a fortune and a powerful army in the Arkansas Confederacy, inflaming pro-slavers in Washington and terrifying moderates as well. Caught in the middle is President James Monroe, the gentlemanly Virginian entering his final year in office with a demagogic House Speaker, Henry Clay, nipping at his heels and fanning the fires of war. But Driscol, whose black artillerymen smashed both the Louisiana militia in 1820 and the British in New Orleans, remains a magnet for revolution. And fault lines are erupting throughout the young republic - so that every state, every elected official, and every citizen will soon be forced to choose a side.
For a country whose lifeblood is infected with the slave trade, the war of 1824 will be a bloody crisis of conscience, politics, economics, and military maneuvering that will draw in players from as far away as England. For such men as Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Sam Houston, charismatic war hero Andrew Jackson, and the violent abolitionist John Brown, it is a time to change history itself.