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At the end of the Civil War, Union Col. John Henry Thomas, his adopted son Blue Boy, a Cheyenne Indian, and 10 of his command travel to Oklahoma, intending to sell horses to the United States Cavalry. Offered a poor price by the government, the indignant Thomas decides to transport the herd to Durango, Mexico, for sale to the beleaguered Emperor Maximilian. While crossing the Rio Grande the Yankees encounter Confederate Col. James Langdon who, having destroyed his Louisiana plantation, intends with family and friends to reestablish the Confederacy in Mexico. Together the Americans repel a group of Mexican bandits who have attacked the Confederate wagon train. In gratitude Langdon arranges a Fourth of July celebration attended by his widowed sister-in-law Ann and daughter Charlotte. At the festivity Charlotte and Blue Boy fall in love, while the men enjoy a free-for-all. When Blue Boy later warns the Southerners that Maximilian's emissary has been murdered, they refuse to believe him and beat him in retaliation for his advances to Charlotte. Langdon's party proceeds to Durango, where they are promptly captured by General Rojas, a follower of Maximilian's nemesis, Juárez. Rojas informs the Yankees that he will kill his hostages unless the herd is given to the Juaristas. Complying with his request, Thomas saves his former adversary. Together again, Confederates and Yankees return to the United States.