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It’s 1858, and the 400 officers and men of U.S. Army Fort Davis in the west Texas wilderness are dreading the imminent arrival of a new commanding officer. Captain Nathaniel Chambers may be a war hero, but he also has the reputation of an overly demanding and ruthlessly strict officer.

The fort currently suffers under the regime of an entirely different kind of commander: Lieutenant Martin, whose lack of leadership and erratic discipline has led the fort to a state of disarray, low morale, and dangerously inadequate fighting capability.

But then a lonely private rides into the fort and reports for duty… and everything is about to change.