It is 1777, the Year of the Hangman, and Captain Isaac Biddlecomb is bound for Philadelphia with his wife and child in the Continental brig of war Charlemagne. His orders are to take command of the newly built 28-gun frigate Falmouth and get her out to sea before she is taken by General Richard Howe's invading army. Unbeknownst to Biddlecomb, the entire British fleet stands between him and the nation's capital. Forced to run his beloved Charlemagne aground. Biddlecomb comes face-to-face with his mortal enemy, Lt. John Smeaton. Meanwhile, General Washington has yielded Philadelphia to Britain's might. As Biddlecomb and his crew battle to reach the prized Falmouth, only shipwright Malachi Foote and a ragtag band of deserters from the Continental Army stand between the vessel and the seemingly unstoppable British Army.