Hatred of the enemy consumes Michael during a long and dusty march to Gettysburg. Michael's only desire is to kill as many of the enemy as he can so he can go home. He coldly counts off the rebels that fall to his bullets until he is brought up short by a dying man holding up his Bible. He was a brother in Christ, Michael realizes after the man dies, and "I had hated him 'with cruel hatred.'" Michael uses the dead man's Bible as his own and delves deeply into the words of life. When a bullet shatters Michael's leg, he returns home.
After months of recovery, life in general returns to normal. In the spring of 1870, Michael leaves home once more, this t ime to return the Bible to the man's widow. This simple journey would change Michael in ways he never imagined. Could he find the faith he once lived by before the Civil War killed it?