This is the story of what happens when a group of toughs rape and kill a preacher's wife, along with his seven children. When traveling Baptist preacher Lew Stuart returns home after being away for a month spreading the word of God, he discovers his wife, four boys and three girls dead —killed by unknown men. The local law has no idea who has committed this terrible crime and they don't seem to be doing much about it, either. His livestock killed, his home gone, and his reason for living missing, he is at the lowest point in his life. Even during four years of fighting for a lost cause in the War of Northern aggression, which turned him into a man of God, he'd never fallen so low. All that remained after twenty years of back breaking work was eight freshly dug graves, and the smoking remains of his home. Angered and saddened to the point that insanity was welcome, he turned to whiskey until his money ran out. Lew knew he needed to eventually discuss his life and future with the Lord, but it would have to wait; he had some serious thinking to do first.
He also learns, over time, killing for revenge will not bring his family back, nor will it squash the deep pain in his heart from the loss of all he'd ever really loved —his family.