Tess Becomes A Woman In The Raging Civil War The story opens with Dr. Lu Shaw giving his only daughter Tess an engagement ball. The ball is filled with talk of secession. Tess the beautiful southern belle learns the pain of betrayal, evils of slavery, the grueling work in the War's hospitals, the satisfaction of forgiveness, the importance of family ties, then to trust and love again. Tess' Uncle Jake, the loveable rake entertains his family while accomplishing his goals during the War. Tess' delightful grandmother, Mama Charlie is there to answer all questions. Louise a true southern belle with southern political ideas is a surprise to all. Lu opens the world of medicine to Joe, a Negro slave. Vicki the elegant leader of society keeps her place in the local society and lives by her northern ideas in this deep southern city of "Natchez Above The River." There are many colorful characters that help tell this story of the Civil War. The War is brought to them with the conquest of the river system of the south. Can this family survive the Civil War with humility, courage, and dignity?