Luke O'Malley is running from an outlaw who said he would kill him for turning him into the law. Since he won't believe he didn't do it, he takes his two kids and joins Adams' wagon train disguised as a parsons, who doesn't act like one.
The Cowans and Beals have been feuding a long time. Bob and Jesse return from the war and find their family dead and the Beals have joined a wagon train. Revenging their family is just the start of what Major Adams must now deal with.
Gabe Carswell wants his son to join the whites because of what he sees coming for the Indians. When his son refuses he takes him to the wagon train heading for California but the Arapaho are getting set to attack.
Don Charlie is a gambler and womanizer and makes no excuses for it. When he meets a woman who wants to marry him there may be trouble because the Major promised her uncle that she would make it safely to San Francisco.
Dora Gray has made some poor choices in her life. Just wanting to get to San Francisco, her latest one involves someone who sells army guns to the Indians and Flint finds himself right in the middle of it.
Bill Tawnee served his country heroically. When Major Adams recognizes him on the trail and sees he is unable to wake, he asks his wife to join his wagon train even though there is plenty of anti-Indian sentiment afloat.
Jack Hanford built his wealth to give his son. He turns it all down to honor his Cheyenne heritage when his mother dies. To make matters worse in his son's eyes, he had sent for a woman he briefly met to replace her even before she died.
Revolutionary Bernal Sierra joins the train finding the wife of his dead friend married to Casey Reardon who sold guns to the Mexican revolutionaries. Bernal is suspicious of Casey, his brothers, and Perdita over missing gold.
A beautiful woman riding with the train likes flirting. When she gets mixed up with the wrong man, she strings along a boy on the train in order to make him jealous, playing one man's love against another's.
Sally Potter hitches a ride on the wagon train but being pretty helps and hurts her. Someone she knew catches up to the train and wants to remind her of who she is and where she came from, possibly ruining what she wants for her future.
During the Civil War Charlie Wooster joins Bill Hawks under the command of Major Seth Adams. When Adams is seriously wounded saving Hawks's life he must struggle to survive, while dreaming of the girl he left behind.
Years after the Civil War, Major Adams gets a second chance with his lost love Ranie, who had married in his absence. But happiness doesn't always come easy, as a sinister rival and a dark secret attest.
Disguised as Yank soldiers, a band of confederate marauders blend into the wagon train, planning on robbing everyone. They are at first stopped but a member of the train helps the man in charge when she discovers the truth to his identity.
In a growing town, Seth meets a friend from his distant past. He remembers how they met and the circumstances bringing them west. When his friend's home is threatened, not ever wearing a gun surprisingly helps him rather than the reverse.
Ruttledge Munroe joins the wagon train on the trail. It's noticed right off his odd sense of humor but when he saves the major's life, it is forgotten until he kills someone else and the real reason he joined up is revealed.
Tensions are running high in the train between northerners and southerners traveling west. As trouble escalates one passenger with a noticeable limp, John Wilbot, is accused of being John Wilkes Booth, who many believe is still alive.
Low on water, Flint scouts for more. When three water holes are dry or poisoned, Fort Paiute seems their only hope but he has to make it back to the wagon train on foot and the only other man who knows the way is believed to be a deserter.
At the end of a long journey, lives were lost. Some made it with their dreams intact. Flint tries to help one of the passengers with theirs and almost bites off too much. Politics are involved as well as unsolicited trips to the Far East.
Juan awakens to the sound of three men hanging his beloved father. Joining the wagon train, he comes across one of the three, tortured by Indians. He nurses him back to health but only under the guise of looking for the other two killers.
Jennifer Churchill, pampered all her life, runs away from a smothering lifestyle and pending marriage, and joins the wagon train. With bounty hunters on her heels, she finds Flint, a man who she wants but doesn't want her.
Concerned by one of the passengers on the wagon train, a woman doctor tries to help even though she's hampered further by everyone else who shuns her. Meantime an Indian chief needs doctoring and they don't believe in female medicine men.
After advertising to look for his brother Charles and offering a $5,000 reward, a member of the wagon train gets a response from someone who walks through an Indian party that's pinning them all down. What he finds is not what he expected.
Millie Davis reluctantly takes in an orphaned baby girl. Eight years later the girl's grandmother arrives to retrieve her. But Millie doesn't want to give up the child, so she claims that she and Flint are the parents.
The major comes upon two Japanese men, attacked by Indians and heading towards California. He learns one of the men plans on committing hara kiri while others on the train have designs on a black box they suspect may contain precious gems.
When a member of the train is placed in chains after breaking Indian law by killing a buffalo, Major Adams quarrels with Flint who quits and takes a job at nearby Tent City. But White Eagle discovers the dead buffalo and demands justice.
Flint, at a grave, sees a man stabbed in the back with a note saying Deliver to Beauty Jamison. As that is the daughter of the man interred he pays a visit and sees a woman trying to continue a legacy with the locals trying to break her.
Mary Ellen is an orphan traveling west to join family, but members of the train reject her due to her surly disposition. Her only friend is Sally Mayhew, another girl traveling west with her family dying of consumption.
When the wagon horses start to die of a disease, Adams is forced to send two men who are feuding to buy new horses with his emergency money. One of the men's horse returns without him making Adams wonder if he made a mistake.