Stephen Brice, a young Boston lawyer who migrates to St. Louis in 1858. He falls in love with Virginia Carvel and, influenced by Abraham Lincoln, becomes an active Republican. Enlisting in the Union army, he serves in the Civil War. His saving of Clarence Colfax’s life and his outstanding qualities enable him to marry Virginia despite the fact that she is an ardent Southerner.
Judge Whipple, Stephen’s friend. He helps the young man get started in a political career.
Mrs. Brice, Stephen’s widowed mother, who migrates with him to St. Louis.
Virginia Carvel, an ardent Southerner. Though her partisan loyalties conflict with Stephen’s, she comes to love him and, eventually, marries him.
Colonel Carvel, Virginia’s father. He serves in the Confederate forces.
Abraham Lincoln, the president of the United States, who is an influence in Stephen’s life. He makes Stephen and Virginia realize they must forgive and forget their sectional loyalties.
Clarence Colfax, a young Southerner, a rival for Virginia’s love. His life is twice saved by the intervention of Stephen.
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant, the famous Union general. Stephen meets him at the outbreak of the war, before Grant gets a command. Near the end of the war, Stephen, now a major, is sent to Virginia to report to General Grant on Sherman’s campaigns.
William T. Sherman
William T. Sherman, famous Union general. Stephen meets him early in the Civil War and later serves as a member of the General’s staff.
Eliphalit Hopper, an unscrupulous carpetbagger.