A ruthless preacher, Parson Josiah Galt, leads a band of Southern marauders during the Civil War that includes his sons, David, Adam and Jacob. The parson has turned vengeful and sadistic since the death of his wife.
David can no longer stomach what his family is doing. When his brother Adam tries to rape a girl in a Kansas town that the Galts have just raided and looted, David tries to leave. He is brought back, accused of "treason" by his own father and sentenced to hang.
Managing to escape, David returns to his wife Laura and son Pauly and relocates in Texas under a false name. They live peacefully there for six years and the war ends.
The robberies and killings by the Galts continue, however, and one day they turn up in the Texas town. A conscience-stricken David feels compelled to tell Sheriff Kirkpatrick who they are and who he really is. Then, in a confrontation, David kills his brother Adam.
Parson Galt and son Jacob exact revenge by taking Laura and Pauly captive and then kill David's wife. To get his son back, David learns of a train robbery his father has planned. He foils it and kills his brother Jacob. In a final showdown, Josiah and David fight and both fall to their death.