Most Americans predict that the Civil War will end by Christmas, but Henry (Tim Morton) and Francis Mellon (David Maloney) couldn't care less. Bracing for another winter on their struggling farm in rural Kentucky, the brothers have become suffocatingly close. Francis' practical jokes become more and more aggressive until the night he accidentally injures Henry in a drunken fight.
After humiliating himself in front of a daughter (Rachel Korine) of the town's preeminent family, Henry disappears in the night. Months later, Francis learns that Henry has joined the Union army, and the two are left to find out separately what the approaching war will bring.