In 1861, 15 yr. old Alexandra is sent to Virginia to learn how to be a proper lady. The country is already in the grips of Civil War when a battle begins nearby. Eager to observe and not be detected, she borrows a young man's clothes. Hidden behind trees, Alexandra watches as the first Battle of Bull Run unfolds before her. After the devastating clash, she is drawn onto the field when a Union officer mistakes her for an out-of-uniform soldier. Alexandra makes the decision to carry on the charade and joins the fight disguised as Alex, the Union soldier. In the American Civil War, over four hundred women dressed as men to serve as soldiers and spies. The character of Alexandra is based on the real life experiences of Sarah Edmonds Seelye, Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, and the other women who disguised themselves as men to serve as soldiers in the American Civil War.