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The final battle of the War of 1812 results in a surprising victory for the outnumbered American defenders at the Rodriguez Canal east of New Orleans. The American command dispatches a patrol from its position in the Mississippi Delta. Its mission is to transport a group of severly wounded Scottish soldiers to a United States army field hospital for urgently needed medical care. The patrol, led by a free-black sergeant from the New Orleans militia, encounters problems along the trail. When the men are borne into an Acadian settlement in central Louisiana on one of the first experimental steam carriages, an irresistible tide of vengence and revenge is unleashed. The mystical forces conjured by a voodoo priestess and a Choctaw Indian chief reach even into the twentieth century. There they combine with modern conspiracy and murder to draw an attorney and newspaper reporter into the age-old enmity between the English and French. The deadly curse culminates on the same graveyard hill where it began.