The American Colonies have proclaimed independence from Great Britain. But as the sunset of 1776 approaches, General Washington struggles to survive the impending, bitter winter. He has only a shadow army of starving, ragged soldiers remaining. It seems the American Cause is ending.
Trapped and hopeless.
Hope is quickly waning for the colonies. The men are sick. Many lack even the most basic necessities, such as shoes, coats, and bread. Now there are only a few thousand who remain. The Continental Congress is heavily in debt and cannot send sufficient aid.
Once confident of her future, she found herself a common prostitute at the call of even the most vulgar of men. However, she reclaims her pride, escapes her master, and joins Washington's Army as a man. It is a cause she hates, but she has no alternative.
Rosanna masquerades into a perilous world.
Pretending to be a man is a dangerous game. Rosanna knows if she's discovered, she will be humiliated and thrown out of the army. It's an exciting risk she happily undertakes! However, in the face of cannon and musket in battle, Rosanna awakens to the reality of her decision. Yet, such perils only strengthen her resolve and defiance.
And then, just as Rosanna starts to adjust to army life, a young lieutenant discovers her sex! Only, instead of reporting her, the officer deals kindly with her. Realizing that the man may be attracted to her, Rosanna feels threatened. She has no intention of allowing romance. Men treated her horribly! How would this man be any different?
Winter arrives, bringing death for the Continental Army.
After being beaten back again and again, General Washington is uncertain how to reclaim victory. If the army does not win in some decisive battle, they will dissolve and The Cause will be ended. Rosanna finds herself afraid for them far more than herself. Her changing views of her country surprise her.
As his ragged, terrified collection of boys huddle at the bank of the Delaware River, Washington orders a perilous attack. His officers think him mad, but Rosanna revels in the impending danger. She may have joined to escape from her own circumstances, but she will stay now to the bitter end for the sake of The Cause!
... and for the lieutenant she confesses that she's grown quite fond of. At any cost, Rosanna promises she will protect him!
Rosanna views the entire Cause with an air of disdain. It is the Continental Congress and her shortsighted parents that ruined all her potential future prospects for marriage and decent living. After her parents give their fortune to Congress, she spitefully leaves them. But a lady of good breeding and no practical skill has no value to anyone.
Rosanna has no money and discovers her connections have turned their backs on her, the daughter of traitorous Whigs.
Resentment in her heart festers as Rosanna turns to prostitution to survive. But she never loses her pride and, growing desperate to change her future, she finds an escape in the uniform of a murdered rebel soldier.
She has nothing to lose. Recklessly, she joins the rebel army. Almost immediately, Rosanna's shocked at the men: they're nothing but a band of filthy, diseased, weary boys! Many don't even have part of a proper uniform. But they display a patriotic fortitude she wasn't expecting and cannot understand. Rosanna begins to question her own petty, selfish resentment towards her parents and her country.
Despite the malnourished display before her, Rosanna decides to play her cards as a soldier. Only, during her first battle, Rosanna's shot. A Continental officer tends to her wounds and discovers she's a female. His decision not to report her only infuriates Rosanna, as she feels he will use his knowledge of her to his advantage. When the officer instead shows her patience and kindness, Rosanna tells herself she hates him. But it's not true.
As time passes and The Cause suffers terribly, Rosanna find herself further questioning her views and resentment against the freedom the men are fighting for. She discovers a brewing patriotism has begun to alter her views. She wants the destitute Continental Army to succeed and her country to be free! Her changing views cause her to question her decisions and even her own identity. Why is she truly here?