In February 1864, the Confederate States of America opened a POW camp that originally covered about 16.5 acres. It was enclosed by a 15-foot high stockade made of rough-hewn logs. A fence known as "the dead line" was erected approximately 19 feet within the borders of the grim stockade walls. It demarcated a no-man's land designed to keep prisoners away from the stockade wall. Any man crossing or even touching this "dead line" was shot without warning by sentries in the watch towers. Before the conflict ended, nearly 13,000 men died at Andersonville.
Caleb Blackwell is thrust into a man-made version of hell when he is marched into Camp Sumter, a Confederate prison near Andersonville, Georgia. He is forced to become a different man than the son of a farmer that he was before the war. After killing a fellow prisoner a number of inmates began calling Caleb, Cain, for killing his brother in arms. Once the war was over, Caleb returns to Missouri trying to take up the life of a farmer--building a cabin, taking a wife, and tilling the land. Plowing is not an easy task, but Caleb finds it not as difficult as dealing with the ghosts of his past.
Caleb tried to bury the memories of the past, by working as hard as he could. After a particularly hard day's work, he finds his home empty, and his wife missing, perhaps kidnapped. Caleb begins a journey that forces him to face the ghosts of his past, and acknowledge that he might not be the same man he was before the war. The soft-spoken Missouri farmer is a different sort altogether when armed with an old Walker Colt and a sawed-off shotgun. In order to survive the hard trail he must ride, he resurrects the man he had to become to survive Andersonville Prison; Cain. Cain knows all too well, spilling blood can change a man, altering his fate. Alone in the vast wilderness of the frontier, Caleb begins to realize that finding his wife might mean losing himself.