In 1876 tensions run high on the prairie, where settlers push ever westward into Indian territories. Lt. Thaddeus Coyle was supposed to help keep the peace. Little did he know the greatest threat would be from his commanding officer. Driven to disobey a direct order, Coyle winds up court-martialed and abandoned by his family. A ruined man, he finds his only friend is Tom Merritt—also known as Swift Hawk—a Lakota caught between his heritage and the white man's world. But when Coyle gets a job as U.S. Special Indian Agent and is sent to Wounded Knee, he and Swift Hawk will find themselves on opposite sides of the law on a prairie ready to go up in flames at the slightest spark.