Richard Landry (C.H. Geldert) is a Southern aristocrat who works for the U.S. government in the days before the Civil War. Henry Mellon (Guy Oliver), a northern official is set on disgracing Landry and insults the man's daughter, Melanie (Blanche Sweet) when she gets in his way. As a result, Mellon is tarred and feathered by a group of night riders, among them Chester Wallace (George Beranger), whose brother Bob (Tom Forman) is in love with Melanie. The Civil War breaks out and Melanie and her father, along with the Wallace family and the children of Colonel Dackins (Charles Ogle), leave Richmond. They are captured by Mellon, who still holds a bitter grudge. Melanie has dispatches from Colonel Dackins that must reach Confederate lines, and she offers herself to Mellon so this can be accomplished. But she blinds him with red pepper, which keeps him at bay long enough for help to arrive. Melanie and Bob are reunited and Mellon is killed. With America just starting to throw itself whole-heartedly into World War I, many felt it was inappropriate to depict a United States Army official (Mellon) so unfavorably.
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