The year is 1867, and former Union steamboatman Bill MacKay has traveled south from Ironton, Ohio with Captain UB Scott's steamer Lightwood, in search of adventure and a location to start his own steamboat company. While piloting a packet steamer on the Red and Mississippi rivers of Louisiana, he befriends Rafe Whittaker, a former sailor on a Confederate blockade runner. The men realize that they share a common quest for post-war peace and the freedom to make of their lives what they possibly can.
Together the two journey to Rafe's family homestead on the Peace River frontier of southwest Florida, and set about building a small Ohio River style steamboat of such shallow draft that locals joke about it being able to run not just in shallow water, but on wet grass.
Can the two friends find success, happiness, and perhaps a little romance in pioneer Florida? Mysterious forces, and equally mysterious gunmen seem bent on sinking not only their boat, the Lady Sally, but their Peace River Navigation Company as well. Is the Civil War truly over, or has it become a guerrilla war along the banks of the Peace River?