It is the mid-eighteenth century, and young British subject Anson Granville Staplyton has traveled to Ireland, where his regiment has been sent to keep the king's peace. Anson has waited all his life for the day he would follow his father to serve His Majesty in the Staffordshire Fencibles. But the young drummer's notions of glory are shaken when he witnesses the violent injustices thrust upon the Irish people.
Anson is torn even further when he meets an Irish hedge master who secretly teaches children the lilting language and history of their won country, lessons that it is Anson's duty to silence. Torn between family honor and his ever-changing sense of justice, Anson struggles to choose his own way in beautiful yet turbulent Ireland.