In the midst of the American Revolution, fourteen-year-old Mary Cooper moves in with her twenty-two-year-old cousin, Tempe Wick, and Tempe's elderly mother, Mary Wick, after Mary's Tory family discovered that she was participating in the Patriot cause. Her brother, Abraham is also a Patriot soldier. Mary's cousin lives near where the American soldiers have camped for the winter. Two of Mary's young friends, David Hamilton Morris and Jeremiah Levering, are stationed here too. Mary has fallen in love with General Anthony Wayne.
The Patriot soldiers and all those who live on farms near the magazine are now facing an incredibly cold winter. A mutiny is imminent. Tempe befriends Billy Bowzar, a Patriot soldier and probably leader of the mutiny. Tempe lends Bowzar her beloved white horse. Mary learns of Bowzar's plans and discovers that Tempe is growing hesitant as well. The cousins stop fighting so they can keep Aunt Mary safe, a plan that involves keeping Tempe's horse, Colonel, in the house overnight. The mutiny is unsuccessful and Mary realizes that her love for General Wayne was a silly little crush. Lieutenant Enos Reeves, a colleague of Wayne's that Mary suspected of being in love with Tempe, was actually in love with her, and Mary discovers she feels the same way.