In 1863 Sudan, a group of men discover a box containing what we later learn is a large sapphire.
In present day North Bay, Michigan, Mickey attends the funeral of his beloved grandfather Jack. Young female relatives don't seem to care as they laugh at whatever is on someone's phone. But Mr. Stumpwater has wonderful things to say about the man. Later, Mickey finds out his grandfather left him a rock in his will. Not realizing its importance, the disappointed Mickey almost throws it into Lake Michigan before Mr. Stumpwater rescues it and reminds Mickey the rock is important.
Using a microscope, Mickey discovers a map on the rock and decides to investigate with his new friend Sully, a Chicago girl staying with her Grams while her parents work out their problems.
A couple of tough Southerners rob a local bank and proclaim the South will rise again. It turns out they are Copperheads working for Stalwert Priggish III, and their goal is to find the Alchemy Machine and make enough silver to take over the United States.
Grams and several others are part of a group of Patriots formed by Abraham Lincoln to protect the Three Elements that control the Alchemy Machine. Mickey's rock is one of the three, and another is in Jack's museum. And the sapphire is also discovered.
The Patriots and Copperheads now must fight to determine who controls the Alchemy Machine. Fortunately, the Southerners who robbed the bank are like the Three Stooges.
I really liked Sully, and Mickey is pleasant enough and quite smart. Patrika Darbo shows intelligence and determination. Ernie Hudson does a great job and also shows courage. And Christopher Lloyd does his usual good job in flashbacks.
The actors playing the Southerners are another matter. Rick Plummer is good as their leader. The bald man is funny and pretty good. The man with long hair, though, seems to lack talent and delivers laughs just because he is such a moron.
This is an interesting mystery even if it occasionally turns violent.