The year is 1863. Losses in 1862 at Fredericksburg, Vicksburg, and Murpfreesboro have left the Union Army in disarray. Twenty-five thousand enlistees are about to reach the end of their service and will have to be released on the first of May The Confederacy has gained in experience and confidence. Cavalry forays by audacious commanders like General J.E.B. Stuart and Mosby's Rangers are dazzlingly successful. Now, General Hooker is named commander of the Federal forces and changes are coming.