Dan Ballard, a respected citizen in the western town of Silver Lode, has his wedding interrupted by four men led by Ned McCarthy, an old acquaintance who, as a US Marshal, arrests Ballard for the murder of his brother and the theft of $20,000. Ballard seeks to stall McCarthy while tracking down evidence that will prove his innocence.
The relationship between Sergeant Stryker and a group of rebellious recruits is made difficult by the Sergeant’s tough training tactics. At Tarawa, the leathernecks have a chance to see Stryker in action, and begin to appreciate him.
Two families, abolitionist Northerners the Stonemans and Southern landowners the Camerons, intertwine in director D.W. Griffith’s controversial Civil War epic. When Confederate colonel Ben Cameron is captured in battle, nurse Elsie Stoneman petitions for his pardon. In Reconstruction-era South Carolina, Cameron founds the Ku Klux Klan, battling Elsie’s congressman father and his African-American protégé, Silas Lynch.