Jeremiah Jones is a man haunted by the horrors of war. When he set off to fight in the Spring of ’61, he was but an ignorant boy seeking renown on the fields of glory. Fighting for the grays, he survives a score of battles with names like Sharpsburg, Gettysburg, and Chickamauga with nary a scratch. What he witnesses in those fights, though, leaves behind scars far deeper than any bullet or bayonet ever could.
Wounded to the depths of his soul, Jeremiah returns at war’s end to the girl he left behind. But four years is an eternity, and life back home has moved on without him. His soul seeking peace, but his warrior's heart desiring only battle, Jeremiah's mind is caught between heaven and hell. Though he rides the saddle-preacher circuit, bringing the word of the Lord to all who'll listen, inside rages the killing beast that war birthed within him. The only ones he can count on are two ghosts, the first two men—but far from the last—who tried to stand against him. Tried, and failed.
While he rests overnight in the tiny town of Freshwater, a desperate young girl named Adeline steals Jeremiah’s horse trying to escape a life worse than death. Realizing her motivations, he pursues, as much to rescue her as to recover his horse. It’s a decision that will change Jeremiah’s life forever. In the days to come, he faces a rash of renegade Indians, desperate homesteaders, and an offshoot of the infamous James gang intent on taking the girl for their own amusements. Pairing up with an unlikely ally, an Osage renegade named Montega, Jeremiah gives his all to keep Adeline safe. Even as he does, though, a nagging fear pulls at his heart. Will Adeline be the death of him? Or his ultimate salvation?