About the play
It's the start of the American Civil War and attorney Benjamin Butler has just been promoted to the rank of Major General at Fort Monroe, a Union hold-out in the great state of Virginia. Shepard Mallory, an escaped slave, seeks sanctuary at the Fort, along with several other runaway slaves. However, the law of the land has not yet changed, and it states that slaves are still property and must be turned over to their "rightful" owners. This of course is tantamount to a death sentence and the new commander must grapple with a daunting moral dilemma. Any act against the prevailing law will lead to his court martial or worse.