Plot Summary

  • Two Johns, a Confederate and an Union soldier, leave their family to go to the front. After a skirmish they end up separated from their respective sides, the Union soldier shoots the Confederate, but he has to escape and look for refuge in the house of his enemy.

    - Written by Melmoth
  • The Civil War has just begun and the young men of the Virginia mountains are experiencing that great sting of war, the good-bye to mothers and sweethearts. The scene of our story is Virginia in a locality where the feelings of the people are about evenly divided. John, the Confederate, is taking leave of his mother to join the little regiment of the neighborhood volunteers. Off the band of patriots go to headquarters. Not very far away we see John, the Union soldier, bidding farewell to his mother and sweetheart, on his departure for the front. The two forces happen to be close to each other, and when John, of the Union forces, with comrades goes foraging they are surprised by John, the Confederate, and put to flight. The Union boy becomes separated from his companions and is hotly pursued by the Confederate. Driven to the "last ditch," the Federal turns and fires at the oncoming Confederate, who drops in his tracks. This enables the Union boy to get away, and rushing up to a farmhouse, which is indeed the home of the Confederate, dashes in and seeks protection of the mother of the boy he has slain. Neither of them, however, realized the enormity of this plea. The mother hides the fugitive behind the fireplace board, and as the soldiers later bring on the body of her dear boy, she realizes what the death of the fugitive would mean to his mother, so she is determined to save him, she, of course, not knowing that he was responsible for the death of her son. Later, however, when she learns the facts and the fugitive's identity, she is at first inclined to give him up, but when calm reason takes possession of her, her mother instinct predominates and she thinks of another mother awaiting her son's return, so she enables him to escape by the back way of the house, the Confederate soldiers having departed, they reasoning that the mother would not shield the destroyer of her son's life if he was anywhere about. After the war, when wounds are healed, two mothers are seen, one welcoming back her hero son as one of victory's band, while the other decorates with flowers the coat of the gallant boy who fought and died for the lost cause.

    - Written by Moving Picture World synopsis


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