Malcolm Bedford, the owner of Portobello plantation in Mississippi. He becomes a Southern patriot during the Civil War and falls ill of dysentery while serving at Vicksburg. He returns home to die, prophesying that the fall of Vicksburg dooms the Confederate cause.
Sarah Tait Bedford
Sarah Tait Bedford, Malcolm’s second wife, who is the gracious hostess and mistress of Portobello plantation. After the war, she succeeds in keeping it for the family and making it successful.
Duncan Bedford, the oldest of Malcolm’s children, a student at Washington College. He enlists in the Confederate cause and fights valiantly until captured. He returns home after the war to work with Mrs. Bedford in reclaiming the family plantation. He long loves Valette, a girl adopted by the Bedfords, and eventually marries her.
Hugh McGehee, the owner of the Montrose plantation and a neighbor of the Bedfords.
Agnes McGehee, the wife of Hugh and a sister of Malcolm Bedford.
Edward McGehee, the oldest son of Hugh and Agnes. He enlists in the Confederate army and is killed in the battle at Pittsburg Landing.
Shelton Taliaferro, a distant relative of the McGehees.
Charles Taliaferro, Shelton’s son. He becomes a great friend of Edward McGehee during visits at Montrose. Like his friend, Charles is killed at Pittsburg Landing.
Lucinda (Lucy) McGehee
Lucinda (Lucy) McGehee, the daughter of Hugh and Agnes. She falls in love with Charles Taliaferro, who does not pay any attention to her, and is heartbroken at her beloved’s death.
Zach McGehee, Hugh’s nephew.
Amelie Balfour, Zach’s fiancée. She persuades Valette Bedford to marry Duncan Bedford, her foster brother.
Valette Bedford, a coquettish girl loved by Duncan Bedford. After some misunderstandings, they are married, following the Civil War.
Mary Hartwell and
Frances Bedford, younger children of Malcolm.
Middleton Bedford, the orphaned nephew of Malcolm.