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With the vivid canvas of the Civil War as a backdrop, Donald McCaig conjures a passionate and richly textured story set in the heart of America's greatest and most devastating time. On Gatewood Plantation, both blacks and whites fulfill their unforgettable destinies. Duncan Gatewood, falls in love with Maggie, a mulatto slave, who gives birth to their son, Jacob. Duncan's irate father sells Maggie and Jacob and sends Duncan to the Virginia Military Institute. From the interlocked lives of masters and slaves, and a wealth of historical detail, Jacob's Ladder examines the loves, letters, and struggles of the characters, and leads to the nightmare of the lurid anguish of the battlefields.