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Chad, an orphan born in Kentucky, is adopted by Major Buford, who conceals his belief that the boy is his nephew. Chad is sent to school in Lexington, and when the Civil War breaks out he joins the Union Army, losing his foster father's affection along with that of Margaret Dean, his sweetheart back home. Chad, now a captain, finds that his duty takes him to the town of his birth. There he rediscovers Melissa Turner, his childhood sweetheart, and falls in love with her again. The war's end finds Major Buford dead. Offered the major's estate if he will return to the Bluegrass region, Chad declines, preferring to remain with Melissa.