Second Lieutenant Brad Pepperdine, a recent graduate of West Point, is assigned to a regiment of African-American soldiers participating in a brutal war against the fierce Comanche Indians. His commanding officer has become hard-drinking and embittered by years of service without recognition or promotion. When a renegade band of Comanches begins raiding farms and ranches, the regiment is sent to run them down. As the unit moves into combat, Pepperdine begins to understand the black soldiers as well as their Indian enemies. But most of all he learns a lot about himself. He can only desperately hope he masters what he must know before the unit is wiped out.