Martha Farnsworth runs a girls’ school in Virginia during the American Civil War. Until 1864, almost all students, teachers and slaves left the area. Only Professor Edwina Morrow and five students stay with Miss Farnsworth. While in the woods to search for mushrooms, Amy, one of the students, meets with John McBurney, a Corpsman from the Unionist Army, who was injured during the battle and left the battlefield ever since.
Amy takes John to their boarding school and there he loses his knowledge. The women lock him in one of the rooms and Miss Farnsworth cares for his wounds. All the women and girls in the boarding school are immediately fascinated by the handsome man. At first, some people suggest that the man be offered to the Confederate Army as a prisoner of war, but Miss Farnsworth decides that they will first allow him to heal and then see what will happen.
When the confederate army soldiers come to their boarding school, Miss Farnsworth avoids telling them that they have a unionist soldier in custody. While recovering from the wounds suffered, women struggle for McBurney’s attention and affection by offering him gifts, cooking for him and offering food to him. He returns the affection he receives, but he focuses more on Morrow and Farnsworth. When he is able to go again, he starts to help them in the garden and becomes clear that he is afraid to return to war.