The 1776 winter quarters of the Rebal Army are the setting for young Phoebe Runnels's high spirited romance with the Quaker, Wheeler Smith, and both play their parts in the taking of Trent's Town on the Jersey side of the river. Lee's troops have not made their appearance, the enemy patrols are raiding, the colonials' retreats deepen the gloom and the man are weak, hungry and ragged. Sullivan brings 2,000 of Lee's men through and the question of survival is almost overshadowed by the threats of the swaggering British. With the small miracle of a turn-coat Tory getting flour to them, comes the chance to prove the game is not up but just beginning as plans and plots center on the surprise attack on Trent's Town. And Phoebe's chance to take her brother's place as messenger is paralleled by Wheeler's decision to help with the problem of the cannon, so that the great event has its glory for all. This is not the niceties of war but the door to door, farm to farm pattern on which meager forces, patriot families, sturdy faith place their mark -- which has a definite validity -- on a twice told tale, less famous than other panels of the young United States. Satisfactory, Indeed.