They went searching for a dream. They found America. The first in a trailblazing trilogy of the brave men and women who risked their lives to build a future in the untamed heart of the American frontier . Fort Kearney, Nebraska, is the gateway to the west for a new breed of pioneers. Civil War veterans and widows, card sharps and Indian agents, and drifters-they arrive every day hoping to forge their destiny. Colonel Henry B. Carrington of the U.S. Calvary is assigned the unenviable task of securing a trio of forts in the dangerous Dakota Territory. At his command is a rising young officer Mark Reynolds and his spirited bride Rose, who longs for danger and excitement. Her wish comes true when army scout Jack Gregory learns that three native tribes are preparing to defend their land against Carrington's troops. As the drums of war intensify, Gregory takes off on a deadly mission of his own, Rose risks temptation in the arms of an army surgeon, and Carrington faces the greatest foe he has ever known . Now, at a lonely outpost in the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains, they must make one final stand. The fate of a nation-and the history of America-will be written in blood.