The fiction/nonfiction novel highlights the military and romantic exploits of the dashing and legendary hero, 23-year old General Gregorio Del Pilar, then the youngest in the Philippine army and American Christine Kelcher's intimate relationship with him and her allegiance to his country.
Aide-de-camp to Philippine president Emilio Aguinaldo in exile in Hong Kong, the young general was euphoric over the coming of the Americans, espousing to his president acceptance of their offer of help in liberating Manila from the Spanish. When Commodore George Dewey and General Wesley Merritt betrayed the insurgency in a secret agreement with the Spanish to wage a mock battle to liberate the city to the exclusion of the insurgents "to protect the pride and honor of Spain," the general vowed to protect the president from capture, "or else the Republic dies."
Military maneuvers by Major Peyton March and Colonel Charles Gilbert and their well-armed and well-trained soldiers are matched by surprise maneuvers by the insurgent general, making his last stand in Tirad Pass with 60 soldiers against 600 Texas Volunteers of the 33rd Infantry Regiment of the U.S. Expeditionary Force. The president avoided capture for 11 months more after the battle.