It is 1861 and the Civil War has begun to tear the United States apart. In the Territories of Colorado and New Mexico, it is a three-sided war between the Union Army, the Confederate Army of New Mexico, and opportunistic Native Indian tribes. Fort Garland is a remote fort in the harsh mountains of the Colorado Territory, home to cavalry and infantry soldiers, and the tough and undisciplined men of the Colorado volunteers. Major John Steele, a Virginian, made a difficult decision to stay an officer in the Union Army, and asked to serve at the western post of Fort Union in the New Mexico Territory. But there is trouble at Fort Garland, and Major Steele is assigned to evaluate Fort Garland's defenses and to prepare to assume command. Mersey Lockwood's dream is to teach school for the children of the soldiers' families at Fort Garland where her father is commander. Together, John and Mersey face the threats within the fort as the bloody battles of the Civil War advance northward from Texas into New Mexico. *Author's note: This story contains no graphic love scenes or unsuitable language, and though some concepts are of a mature nature, the story should be suitable for young adults.