The bombardment of Fort Sumter confronts Edwin Anderson with a momentous choice. The Mexican War veteran has a wife and two small children. He is the pastor of a small Baptist church and had been a Cooperationist during the secession debates in Georgia. But like so many others, he is swept up in the tide of patriotic enthusiasm that engulfs the entire Deep South. His decision to enlist in the famed Columbus Guards dramatically changes everything.
The tide of men enlisting in the Confederate army also alters the lives of those left behind. Polly Brenton and her husband, Richard, are close friends of Edwin and his wife, Ann. Polly is shunned by polite society because of a scandalous past. Like Edwin, Richard is a member of the Columbus Guards. When Edwin and Richard march off to war, Ann, her children, and Polly move to Ann’s father’s plantation. The two women struggle to cope in a topsy-turvy world while fearing their husbands might never return.
In Tides of War, the bloody conflicts of the American Civil War transform the couples’ lives forever: their marriages, their beliefs about God, and their relationships with each other.