Lt. Lance Caldwell (Rock Hudson) returns home to Florida from West Point. He is ordered to serve under Major Degan (Richard Carlson), a martinet who intends to drive the Seminole tribe out of Florida. Osceola (Anthony Quinn), the half-white leader of the Seminole tribe, is a childhood friend of Lance's, and both men love Revere Muldoon (Barbara Hale). Revere acts as a go-between conveying messages between the army and the Indians. Osceola hopes for peace, but Major Degan is blinded by his rigid views of the Indians.