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As clouds of civil war gather, the Landreths take in a family of fugitive slaves and are heartbroken when they cannot, because of the Fugitive Slave Law, prevent the couple and their young son from being forcibly returned to their owner. With the fall of Fort Sumter, patiotic ferver sweeps Pleasant Plans, and the Keiths, Landreths, and Ormsbys all rush to do their part for the Union, knowing that friends and fmaily elsewhere support the opposing cause. As the conflict progresses, Don and Rupert are captured, but by the grace of God they survive the horrors of Confederate prison camps. After years of worry and concern for friends and loved ones, the family is overjoyed when the war ends but saddened by the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Percy and Stewart leave home to attend college, and the family begins to settle back into the life it had long known in Pleasant Plains.