The story of Joseph Shelby, leader of the Confederate's Iron Brigade, makes colorful substance for what might be defined as a film script rather than a novel. With the defeat of the South, Shelby led his cavalry troops over the border into Mexico, rather than disband, and they joined the ""army"" of the French puppet emperor, Maximilian. Other citizens of the South and numerous Confederate political figures who feared imprisonment took refuge in Mexico, where they planned to found settlements in which they could pursue their former way of life. Dan Kilbourne, mysteriously first seen in the uniform of the North, joins with Shelby's army under a compulsive obligation to fight the cause of the South as long as possible. He has fallen in love en route with a wholesome, sunburnt belle, also Mexico-bound by wagon train, but it took a passing adventure with a femme fatale and a throat to the safety of his wholesome girl by guerrillas to make him know where his true love lay. The western slick fans will find this to their liking, though its fast-moving, romantic plot is cast in a somewhat hacknayed literary form.