In the closing days of the Civil War, fanatical Parson Josiah Galt and his three sons, Adam, Jacob, and David, are leaders of a gang of southern marauders. Josiah, driven by his lust for revenge for the death of his Indian wife, attacks the Kansas town of St. Thomas. David, recalling his dead mother's prophecy of doom upon the family and repulsed by the carnage caused by his father and brothers, breaks with the gang after his brother Adam tries to rape one of the town's young girls. David is captured by his own men and brought before his father, who accuses him of treason and sentences him to be executed. David escapes, joins his wife, Laura, and together they flee to Texas, where they live for 6 years under an assumed name. After the war, Parson Galt and his sons continue to loot and pillage, and they eventually reach the Texas town where David, Laura, and their young son, Pauly, live.