Santa Fe Trail (1940) - full transcript

The story of Jeb Stuart, his romance with Kit Carson Holliday, friendship with George Custer and battles against John Brown in the days leading up to the outbreak of the American Civil War.

[instrumental music]

[music continues]

[instrumental music]

Cadet troop forward! Ho!

[instrumental music]

Fours, right about! Ho!

That is right.
Fours, right about! Ho!

Man 1: Form fours. Ho!

Second section, the man on the
right, number two, close in.

Come on, pick it up,
pick it up.

At a gallop. Ho!

To the right. Ho!

[instrumental music]

Man 2: Troop, dismount!
Fall out!

- Man 2: William Pender.
- Here.

- Man 2: Charles Sawtell.
- Here.

- Man 2: Jeb Stuart.
- Yep.

- Man 2: George Custer.
- Yep.

- Man 2: George Pickett.
- Here.

- Man 2: Robert Holliday.
- Here.

- Man 2: James Longstreet.
- Yep.

- Man 2: Carl Raider.
- Yep.

- Man 2: Phillip Sheridan.
- Here.

Man 2: John Hood.

Hey, Jeb, take a look
at this saddle sore.

You think
that's serious enough to report?

I don't know, George, but I've
certainly got to report mine.

- Ooh.
- You boys can have the cavalry.

Me, I'm gonna apply
for the infantry.

Tired of playing housemaid
to a temperamental mare.

That's the first good news
your horse has ever heard.

Go on, Gertrude, kiss him.

[horse neighs]

- Stand still you devil!
- Steady, boy.

If you weren't so hot-headed
you wouldn't hurt your mouth.

I told you before we started

you had that
curb chain on too tight.

It's not the first time
you've cut his tongue.

Ever tried putting a curb
on your tongue?

No, nobody else every tried it.


I suppose it takes one of you
southerners to handle a horse.

Well, at least, we know
how to harness them.

You know how to harness Negroes
down south too I hear.

With a strap across their back.
Come on.

When are you going to take
a punch at him?

Too close to graduation.

Besides if I waited four years

I guess I can wait
another week.

[trumpet music]

"The breaking up of the
American Union as of now exists

is the basis of my plan.”

"And that destruction must be
made upon the issue

of Negro slavery
and on no other."

"The union must then be

on the great principle
of emancipation.”

"This object is vast
in its compass."

"Terrifying in its prospects
but sublime

and beautiful in its issue.”

"A life devoted to it
would be nobly spent

or sacrificed."

"If the federal government
in its constitution

"are opposed to my way
of thinking,

the fault is not mine,
but theirs."

"And I shall continue to oppose
them with every means

and every weapon
at my disposal.”

Who wrote that inflammatory rot?

A wise man by the name
of John Brown.

Mm, where did you get it?

That's my business,
if you don't like it

you don't have to listen to it.

You meant it for me,
didn't you?

- Take it anyway you like.
- Sure, he meant it for you.

He tried that abolitionists
stuff on me

until he found out
I came from Kansas.

Never mind, Bob.
Come on, Jeb, let's turn in.

There is no regulation against
a cadet having his own ideas.

But there is one spreading
treasonable policies.

You find the truth hard to take,

Listen, Rader, I know the truth
of this problem

far better than you do.

The south will settle it

in its own time
and in its own way.

But not through the propaganda
of renegades

like this John Brown
or any of his followers.

You mean that renegade line
to include me?

Look up your oath of allegiance
and answer that for yourself.

I'll answer that
right here and now.

I've taken a lot of you
southern snobs.

For 50 years now
you have been watering

your precious family trees
with the sweat of Negro slaves.

Piling up wealth
and snobbery until now

you think you own
the government and the army.

And anybody who disagrees
with you is a lying renegade.

A rebel rousing traitor.

Well, you get this from me,

And all you other
Mason Dixon plutocrats.

The time is coming when the rest
of us are going to wipe you

and your kind
off the face of the earth.

[intense music]

- Jeb, don't be a fool.
- Stop! Let them fight it out.

Man 3: Hold it, Rader.

- Jeb.
- Jeb!

[glass shatters]


For sometime I've been aware
that the disturbing force

has been active among
the regiment of cadets.

The exact nature of this
subversive campaign

and the persons
responsible for it

have not been fully known to us
until this moment.

Stuart, by every rule
of the academy

you should be discharged
from the service.

And your associates are
no less guilty for their part

in this outrageous affair.

Colonel Lee, any blame in this
matter is entirely upon me.

It's my sole responsibility,

That's not quite true, sir.
It was my fault.

We are all equally
responsible, sir.

Man 4: That's right, sir.
Man 5: That's right, sir.

If I believe that
you were guilty alone, Stuart

I should have
sent for you alone.

As for you, Custer,
and the rest of you

you must be taught
that lying to protect a friend

is sometimes an extremely
dangerous practice.

I'm not so greatly concerned
about the fight itself

as I am about its cause.

All seven of you men
violated the first sin

of military conduct.

The traffic and violent exchange
of political ideas.

Which are not the affairs
of an American solider.

You must be punished
and punished severely.

I shall request of the war
department upon your graduation

next week that all of you
be assigned

to the most dangerous branch
of the United States Army.

The second United States

Now stationed at
Fort Leavenworth

in the Kansas territory.

[clears throat]

That's all, gentlemen,
you are dismissed.

Now send for Cadet Rader.

How can you read that?

Fort Leavenworth,
suicide station.

Kansas in the Santa Fe Trail,
what a piece of luck!

That's it, and the cavalry,
active duty, promotion.

Why, we'll all be generals,
while the rest

are still chafing..

Oh, that's death of the country,

Nothing grows in Kansas
but trouble.

What are you talking about?
I grew up out there, didn't I?

Well, I suppose he's not.

Yeah, wait till
I get you boys out there

man alive, that's
my stamping grounds.

[indistinct chatter]

These pamphlets were found
in your quarters.

Dozens of them,
together with a letter

written by a member
of the abolitionists party

instructing you to distribute
them among those cadets

who appear to be
sympathetic to their cause.

How long has this undercover
activity of yours been going on?

Long enough.

Very clear idea
of your fellow conspirators

to plant an agent in our midst.

Your dishonorable discharge
will be drawn up at once.

And you will be given until
sundown to remove yourself

and your personal belongings
from the limits of Westpoint.


And you can tell
Mr. Stuart for me

that he'd be smart
to stay in the army.

Right in the middle
of it from now on.

Cadet William Cue, Ohio.


Man 5: Cadet Martin Evans, Ohio.

Cadet Arma Mallow, New Jersey.


Cadet George Custer, Ohio.


Cadet James Longstreet,
South Carolina.


Man 5: Cadet Philip Sheridan,
New York.


Cadet J-E-B Stuart,


Cadet John Hood,


Cadet Robert Holliday,
Kansas Territory.


Cadet Jason Wood,


Cadet George Pickett,

That's my sister Kit.

Thought two years in Boston
would make a lady out of you.

So did I,
it just popped out.

Man 5: Cadet William Keel, Ohio.


Man 5: Cadet Robert Davis,
New Jersey.


It is now my great honor
and privilege to introduce

the secretary of war
of the United States of America.

The Honorable Jefferson Davis.


Officers and gentlemen
of the class of 1854

their welcomed guests
and their very proud families,

I'll not keep you separated
very long

as I myself once
sat in your place

and endure an interminable

by a very tiresome general.


But as a secretary of war
of this nation

I have a serious obligation
towards each new officer

of the army before he enters
into active service.

And that obligation
is to make clear and definite

his responsibility
to his government.

We are a new nation among
the powers of the world.

Just 80 years ago

we were fighting desperately
for our freedom.

And we are still fighting
to keep it.

We are not yet a wealthy nation,
except in spirit.

And that unity of spirit
is our greatest strength.

You men now have but one duty.

One alone. America.

With your unswerving loyalty
and the grace of God

our nation shall have no fears
for the future.

And your lives will have been
spent in the noblest

of all causes, the defense
of the rights of man.


[instrumental music]

[indistinct singing]

[singing continues]

[train horn blaring]


[indistinct chatter]

Tickets. Tickets.

Mr. Holliday, we're getting
close to Leavenworth.

Yeah, it's a shame
this tea kettle of yours

doesn't go any further.

What for?
There's nothing to go to.

There's half a nation out there,

Someday I'll build
a real railroad to open it up.

Clear the Santa Fe.

For a man who made
a fortune out of horses

you sure got a heap to learn.

Hey, cap, tell the boys to
speed it up, will you?

The last time I had get out and
help chop wood for the engine.

Well, the first time
you rode with me

I had to change your diapers.


Hey, cap, where am I going?

Looks like you are going
to Hades.

Just wanted to know.

Bob's been telling us about
that railroad Santa Fe so long.

Now, Mr. Holiday,
I'm surprised to learn

it hasn't even been built.

Well, let's not all foster it.

You can't build a railroad over
blood-soaked ground like Kansas.

Decent sellers won't use it.

We are losing thousands of
pioneer to Oregon Trail.

They circle right around us.

We heard about the raided
arsenal last week.

What is the true situation
out here, sir?

Well, Kansas is a territory
and not a state.

We are ready to join the Union,
but the big question is

whether we'll go in as a
slave state or as a free state.

On one side is most of
Kansas' pro-slavers

people who came from south.

On the other side are
the abolitionists

lead by John Brown
and the sons.

Between those two elements
they've made Kansas

a boiling pot of
rebellion and massacres.

That's why the army sent
you boys out here

to Fort Leavenworth.

Suicide station,
it's quite an honor.

- Excuse me, will you, sir?
- Surely.

You know, the first time
I saw you at the graduation

I thought of what Napoleon said
when he first met Josephine.

What was that?

He said, "I never knew this
savage land they call America

could breath such
perfect beauty in mortal form."

Oh. Thank you.

- That's a lovely line.
- Yeah, isn't it?

George has been using it
for years, haven't you, George?

I... I wish I could think of
nice things like that to say.

You wouldn't like
what I'm thinking now.

You were going to tell me
something more about Kansas.

Yes, what do you do on
Saturday nights for fun here?

Well, as I remember,
half of Leavenworth takes a bath

another the half gets drunk.

And since there are
only two bathtubs in town

they seem a kind of exciting
around midnight.

Kit! Kit! Kit.

By the way, how they ever came
to name you Kit Carson Holliday?

Well, Mr. Carson and my dad
were very good friends.

And they were so sure
I was going to be a boy

they named me
before I was born.

Oh, I see. Well, I'm certainly
glad they were wrong.

- Me too.
- Me too.

Me too!

- Hey, conductor.
- Yeah?

What're you going to do
about that?

- About what?
- I'll tend to that.

Hey, I thought I told you

them Negroes had to
ride in the last coach.

Their tickets gives them
the right to ride

wherever they please.

Now, I don't want any trouble
with you, mister.

Then you better leave us alone.

Well, I don't know what
this country is coming to.

- Tickets!
- Stop shaking, Anna.

There's nothing to worry about.

We're only half an hour
from the border.

If we don't hurry,
they will be across the border.

Alright, go ahead.

[instrumental music]

Where you taking the Negroes?

What business is that of yours?

We are asking the questions.
Are they free or bond?

Here are the papers.
You can see it for yourself.

Yeah, that might mean something
if we didn't know who you are.

Now don't you make a move.

We're taking
you and them off of this train

while they're
still in Missouri.

Now, come on,
get up all of you.

[instrumental music]

Where're they gonna take us,
Master Brown?

What they gonna do with us?


Stop him.

What do you know about this?

There is the trouble,
Negro slaves.

He was trying to sneak 'em
across the state line.

I'll get that murdering
jayhawker for this

if I'll have to hang for it.

- Who was it?
- Oliver Brown.

One of John Brown's
scurvy litter.

Better than a doornail.
Come on, you'll get by greenhorn

give me a hand. There ain't
no use spoiling the carpet.

Come on,
get him out of the way.

Now, don't get excited,

Sit down, please.

This is what they mean
when call it bloody Kansas.

There'll never be any peace
along the Santa Fe Trail

while John Brown or any of his
followers are alive.

[instrumental music]

Cyrus: Now this is
the present terminal.

I proposed to come down here
to Wichita.

And along here across
the Arkansas River

along the Cimarron River,
over here to Las Vegas.

Here on into Santa Fe.

Now that'll be
our first section of track.

From Leavenworth to Wichita.
Right over the trail.

How soon do you figure to start?

Well, the men back east say
they are ready

to put up the money as soon
as we can prove

that a rail route through Kansas
are safe and will pay.

- Dad!
- Yes, Kit.

Where did you put
the loading list?

List? Gosh, I clearly forgot
to make one out.

That's great!

Ninety eight tons
of freight ready to roll

and no orders for loading,

how'd you run this business
while I was away?

That's why I sent you away to
show you what a skirt was.

Look at your clothes,
look at the grease your nose.

What would your friends
in Boston think of you now?

Frankly, dad,
I don't much care.

If you are going to keep your
nose in the paper railway

I better keep mine
in the family affairs.




Where are those ornery cousins?

What do they think they're
getting paid for?


Why didn't you tell me?

Getting jealous, huh?

I didn't even see Lilly
when I said goodbye to her.

Oh, now don't start lying to me,
you double crossing buzzard.

I know that you didn't buy
that there looking glass to see

your own ugly mug.

I suppose
you're figuring on wearing

that female cinching belt.

Wait till Lilly sees
what you brung her.

She'll brain you.

If it ain't physically

- Why you ignorant...
- Kit: Tex.

Hey, you two.
Where in the name...

Will you come here?

- Hello, Ms. Kit.
- Hello nothing.

Are you gentlemen of leisure
by any chance

interested in employment?

Oh, we lost our watch.

Yeah, we didn't have
no idea of time.

I ought to give you both your
time and throw you out.

Where in thunder have you been?

Well, you see,
we had to buy these nick-nacks.

Well, we sort of got a gal
in Santa Fe, Lilly, uh...

And what do you mean we?

- I'm engaged to her.
- Well, who ain't?

You set up housekeeping
at Santa Fe

or is this just
gilding the lily?

Oh, she want us to fetch her
one of them

fancy French
looking glasses.

Ain't it pretty?

What's your answer to that, Tex?


What are you all laughing at,
you long eared jackasses?

Go on, get to work,
both of you.

Go on, jump to it.

You better hide that thing
or start wearing it.

[instrumental music]

I'm going to put you
new officers

straight from the start.

This is Fort Leavenworth
and not Westpoint.

You were sent here
to man the frontier garrison.

Three of the officers
you're supposed to be replacing

are buried back of the hill
in the little military cemetery.

The other four
haven't been found yet.

The regiment of mounted rifles
has only one job

to keep the peace in Kansas.

And we're here alone.

There's no other fort
between us and Santa Fe.

And we're proud
of that responsibility.

We've got a tough reputation
in the army

but they respect us in the west.

See that it stays that way.

Order of the day, Lieutenants
Longstreet and Holliday

take B troop and put
them through close order drill.

Lieutenants Stuart and Custer
will take eight men

as an escort
for the freight caravan

leaving at noon
for New Mexico.

Draw the usual supplies and
report to me for final orders.

Say, will you keep all those

cases of Bibles
near the tail board.

They're only going a short haul.

We sure will.

Let's go.

[instrumental music]

Convoy ready, sir,
we're ready if you are.

Good, I hope you have
a nice, quiet trip.

On any other kind,
I lose money.

Oh, we will try
and save you that.

We'll see you in six weeks, sir,
with luck.

Just keep your eyes open, boys,
and move fast.

You'll like the scenery
but don't trust it.

Alright. Goodbye, sir.

Goodbye, Stuart.
Goodbye, Custer.

[instrumental music]

[indistinct chatter]

Corporal, detail two men
to cover each wagon.

Yes, sir.

Phil, move all these barrels
over there for the next ride.

- Well.
- Hey.

Looks like we both
got the same idea.

Looks that way.
How're we gonna work it?


I've got an idea.

- Let's draw for it.
- Fair enough.


- I got the long one.
- Hey, wait a minute.

Where I come from
long man loses.

Tough luck, old man.
Here, hold my horse.

One hand plough, one seater,
seven eggs, 15, 12 and 14 and...

Why, Joe,
there is something missing.

Must be me. Hello.

What are you doing here?

Oh, playing nursemaid
for those wagons.

Should be the other way around.

Oh, the convoy.
That's a silly idea.

Dad, he thinks that man
John Brown is behind every bush.

Well, it's not that
I mind so much

it's being away from
you for six weeks

just when
we're getting started.

Started? When?

Now, look, I've only got
a few minutes left.

So I've got to be fast.

You haven't been exactly slow
for a couple of days.

I've never seen
such a pair of whirlwinds

as you and George Custer.

George, poor old George.
Well, never mind about him.

Look, Kit, I might as well
tell you before I go.

I'm completely
crazy about you.

- What?
- No, wait a minute.

Let me finish.

I needn't warn you
about army life.

The pay is bad,
I'd never be home.

You'd probably be a widow
in two weeks.

I see, have you thought
of any particular names

for the children?

No, be serious, will you?

This might be the most
precious moment in our lives.

I hope not,
not in these clothes.

Haven't you got
any heart at all?

Yes, I have, and it's going to
stay right where it is.

I don't know
a thing about you, Jeb Stuart.

My brother thinks
you're wonderful.

But then he was dropped
on his head when he was a baby.

Well, at least you'll let me
kiss you goodbye, won't you?

Oh, well, it's quite an honor,
but no, thanks.

I... I don't really deserve it.

Well, hello.
Say, this is quite a surprise.

The corporal's looking for you,
says it's very urgent.

Mm-hmm, I'll bet.

Kit, we will take this up later
right where we left off.

Now, George,
don't be long winded.

Listen, Kit, we're due to
leave in a minute now.

There's something
I've got to tell you.

I'm head over heels in love
with you.

George, you sound just
like an echo.

Oh, Kit. Ah, pardon the
interruption, George old man.

Kit, there is something
I forgot to ask you.

Have I got any real competition?

How do you think any girl would
answer a question like this?

- Well, just tell me the truth.
- Then you'd both be crazy.

Get going, you bull whackers!

Through desert heat and dust

your throats will soon
be choking.

S Your head's about to bust.

No water when you're thirsty.

And all you get to eat.

Is aromatic antelope
and some big buffalo meat


Good luck, boys.

We may not even
live to get our pay.

But even if
we don't get paid.

There ain't no job we trade.

For hauling freight
from state to state.

Along the Santa Fe.

For hauling freight
from state to state.

Along the Santa Fe



There's trouble riding with us
all the way.

You'll think over
what I said, Kit?

Every word.
Take care of yourself, George.

Don't worry about that.
Goodbye, darling.

Along the Santa Fe



There's trouble riding with us
all the way.

Although we sweat and whine
and cuss.

The only job for us.

Is hauling freight
from state to state...

- Wanna make a little bet, Kit?
- Sure, on what?

Those two boys.

I'll give you a three to one
I can name the winner.

That's ridiculous.


Which one do you want?


- I'll take that bet.
- Good!

Is hauling freight
from state to state.

Along the Santa Fe

[instrumental music]

And to instruct
to all volunteers

not to enter Kansas unequipped.

Nor to display their weapons
to public view.

Let that be understood

- Warn them also...
- Not so fast, father.

Warn them also
that our plans must be known

to ourselves alone.

That they join me in the clear
knowledge that all traitors

of the cause must die

wherever caught
and proven to be guilty.

Tell them that we stand by
one another

while a drop of blood remains.

That under no threats or
pressure do we make confessions.

Alright, that's our camp.

I might as well tell you
when you get this far

you don't turn back.

You don't have to
worry about us.

We ain't the kind that quit.

That's fine.
Just see you keep it that way.

Save all of us
a lot of unpleasantness.

You've been delayed.
Was there trouble, Rader?

No, sir, we had to detour
when we got to the border.

I picked these new men
up in Palmyra.

Volunteers, sir.
Here are their credentials.

From Illinois.
You've come a long way.

And we'll go the rest of it.
We came here to fight slavers.

- The sooner the better.
- That's good.

We'll put you to work at once.

look after these gentlemen.

Kitzmiller: Fine.
This way, boys.

[indistinct chatter]

We've received the news
we've been waiting for.

- We break camp, Rader.
- Yes, sir!

Let's start tearing down
these tents now.

[instrumental music]

Oliver! He's hurt.

- I'm alright. Where's father?
- Father!

What has happened to you?

Where are the Negroes
you were told to bring?

A couple of pro-slavers tried
to grab us on the train.

I shot one of 'em
and jumped off.

You left four helpless people
alone to save yourself?

I had to do it, father.
It was me or them.

You cowardly fool!

In future
obey my instructions.

We leave at once.

[instrumental music]

All of you,
down upon your knees.

As once you sent the ravens
to save Elijah

so how you have delivered
into my hands

the precious means
of continuing Thy holy work.

The Lord
our God is a great God

a mighty and a terrible
who regardth not persons

nor taketh reward.

The Lord is a man of war.

Thy right hand shall become
glorious through power.

Thy right hand, oh, God shall
dash in pieces the enemy.

[instrumental music]

Hey, Oscar.

When we cross the river
you watch out for that wagon.

It's got my looking glass.

Hey, Tex.
These horses are pretty tired.

When are we going to make camp?

Oh, as soon as
we cross the river

and then we'll be out of danger
from both sides.

You know, lieutenant,
I'm sure glad

we're leaving civilization.

It's getting too dangerous
for a peace-loving man.

I run into some of
them abolitionists this once.

But who's this fella John Brown
they talk so much about?

Oh, as far as I know
he's just a dirty old windbag.

- In fact, he's just your type.
- Either of you ever meet him?

Tex: No, but two of them fellas
he killed at Osawatomie

were friends of mine.

You mean Jim Doyle
and Allan Wilkerson?

Yeah, and that's the reason
I'd sure like to meet up

with this here Mr. John Brown.

He's got no quarrel
with people like you, Tex.

You would do much better
to leave him alone.

Well, you can
count me in anyhow.

Even if he ain't harm
no friends of mine

I sure would hate to miss
a good fight.

[instrumental music]

This is wrong, father.

We've never attacked
a wagon train before.

We aren't common highwaymen.

You say we have
a righteous cause

but this will bring the law
down on us like a storm.

We recognize no law
but the law of God.

You will do as I command.

Take your men back, Rader.
Wait for my signal.

[instrumental music]

[instrumental music]

Howdy, strangers.

Good morning.
Are these Holliday's wagons?

- That's right, sir.
- My name is Smith.

Jonathan Smith of Newton.

Ah, well,
what can we do for you?

I believe you're carrying
some freight consigned to me.

Oh, we might be, if you got
something to show for it.

I have this receipt
from the shipper.

Come a long way with an empty
wagon, haven't you, Mr. Smith?

Newton's about
a 100 miles from here.

My home is in Newton, sir,
but my place of business

is much closer to the trail.

Oh, I see.

I thought your horses
look pretty fresh.

Eight cases of Bibles.
That's right.

Come on, Windy, we will unpack
these Bibles for the parson.

Jason, bring up your wagon.

Get that cart down.

I got to get them Bibles

for the parson.

That's a funny thing.
I've seen that fella somewhere.

It's the way it seems to me.

It isn't the kind of a face
you'd forget in a hurry.

Wait a minute.

I know. In some magazine,
"The Atlantic” I think.

Well, and he's either from
Boston or he's a missionary.

No, it was something else.

Been a lot of bad trouble

over across the river lately,
Mr. Smith.

That murdering skunk John Brown
is on the loose again.

Better keep your eye
peeled for him.

Thank you. We shall.

This stuff sure is heavy
for Bibles.

How would you know?
You ain't never even saw one.


[instrumental music]

Just a minute.

I'd like to see
those Bibles.

Stay where you are.

Put your hands up
and keep 'em up.

[instrumental music]


I advise you to make
no move towards your gun.

Bring up the other wagon.

Now then, quickly
with those other crates.

Alright, get a move on there.
Only the ones marked Bibles.

Hey, Jeb. Look.

Our friend Rader.

Well, this is a surprise.

The commission
and the cavalry too, huh?

I see you've got the commission
you were after.

You know these men, Rader?

Yes, sir. Very well.

This one, Stuart,
comes from a rich

slave owning family
in Virginia.

He called you a lying renegade
once and I jumped him for it.

John Brown. Him?

- John Brown!
- John Brown?

I've nothing personal
against you men

but I will deal harshly
with any interference.

I might have known that you'd
wind up with this outfit.

Well, that's one of the troubles
with the army, Stuart,

they don't teach you
to think ahead.

They do one smart thing.

They teach never to turn
your back on an enemy

without first making sure
he's harm...

Stop this.

We've not saddled ourselves
with the killing

just to satisfy
your personal quarrels.

One more murder
won't mark you any deeper

than you are now, Mr. Brown.

I intend to be a marked man.

Back to your horse, Rader.

Back to your horses,
all of you.

I've given you fair warning.

You can keep your heads
or lose them as you wish.

Move on.

[instrumental music]

I saw what was
in those cases, George.

- What?
- Contraband.

- Riffles and ammunition.
- Gosh!

Then we've been delivering
Bibles with triggers on 'em.

Let's take a chance.

Everybody take cover
and open fire.

Dismount! Take cover!


Stop! Cover the wagons
and move back.

We mustn't lose anymore men.


Get back.

He's running.
They're getting away.

No, they are not.
We're going after them.

Hey, wait a minute.
They outnumber us three to one.

Well, if it makes you nervous,
don't count them. Come on.

Everybody, mount and follow me.

Everybody, mount!

Come on. I tell you,
here's where I get your medal.


[instrumental music]

Get those wagons out of here!

Come on! Quickly!

Use your whip, Jason!
Use your whip!


[instrumental music]






[instrumental music]


[music continues]

I couldn't help it.
I didn't do anything.

Alright, son,
nobody's going to hurt you.

- Who are you?
- Jason Brown.

Brown? You're one of
John Brown's sons.

Yes, but I never did anything.

He made me go along.

I never killed anyone.
I swear it.

I'm getting out.
I'm quitting.

You've got to take me with you.

Bring a horse up, George.

- Bring up the horses.
- We'll have to carry him back.

The boy is badly hurt.

It's his father's madness
really striking home now.

Jeb, there's a purpose
behind that madness.

One that can't easily
be dismissed.

George, you've seen the needle
on a compass, haven't you?

It's got a whole car
to swing around in

but it always wobbles
back to the North.

What are you driving at?

Just this. I've always known
where your sympathies lay,

but it never affected our
friendship and it never will.

But it isn't our job
to decide who's right

and who's wrong about slavery

anymore than it is John Brown's.

I guess you're right, Jeb.

I'm sorry.

[instrumental music]

That's the most doggone fun
I've had

since we got hemmed up
with them Injuns.

Yeah, well, the next time
we shooting at a commoner

you let me do the shooting.

Boy, my gullet is dry as
a powder horn.

[glass shattering]

Get up.

You busted Lilly's
looking glass.

When she looks
at herself in that

she'll think
she's a hundred years old.

Or more.

Of course, we're aware that

firearms are contraband
in Kansas.

Do you think we'd have
accepted those boxes as freight

if we'd known
what they actually contained?

Well, I'm just asking,
that's all.

Doesn't it seem strange to you
that Dr. J. Boyce Russell,

the most prominent
religious leader in America

should be sending rifles
marked as Bibles to John Brown?

How can I control
the marking of crates?

We once received three tons
of gunpowder marked bird seed.

Well, then you'll have to
examine every crate you haul.


For all we know this contraband

may have been slipping
through for months.

Jason. Listen, son.

You've got nothing to be afraid
of if you'll be honest with us.

Now, I want you to answer
my question truthfully.

Did your father ever mentioned
this shipment of rifles

when he discussed his plans?

Not to me.

He never confided in me.

Just Fred and Oliver.

- Fred and Oliver?
- My brothers.

- Where are their headquarters?
- I don't know where they went.

They have a dozen places, I...

I don't know.
I don't know.

Alright, kid.

Don't worry about it.

[instrumental music]

Man 6: These guns are no

Anyone with their best
interest of Kansas

at heart can tell you that.

Cyrus: No bendy-legged
bushwhacking soldier

can talk like that
about the Holidays.

We've got as much
interest in Kansas

as the United States government.

And a darn sight
more investment.

We were here before
the army came in

and by God we will be here
when you're gone.

If you think you can...


Well, Stuart,
what did you find?

Very little, sir.

The boy is either too badly hurt

or too frightened to talk.

We leave immediately.
Have them sound to assembly.

Yes, sir.

What was that you called me?

A gold darn
bendy-legged bushwhacker.

Now, go on.

He says he talks
with God at night.

But God doesn't tell people to
kill one another, does He, miss?

He's a, he's a good man
in a lot of ways.

But he's changed
since Osawatomie.

Those people he killed...

They got down on their knees

and begged him for their lives.

But he struck them with a sword.

Him and Rader and Kitzmiller.

I was there.

I saw it done.

I tried to stop them
but they pushed me aside.

Yes, that's how it was.

We're starting at once.

I'll take the first troop
west to Tecumseh.

Stuart, you and Custer will take
the first platoon of B troop

and search thoroughly
from Clinton

to Dutch Henry's crossing.
Is that clear?

- Yes, sir.
- These are your orders.

Find John Brown
and bring him back here.

Alive if possible.

His force is well-armed now
and strong in numbers.

We also suspect
that new volunteers

are drifting in from the East
to join him.

Be on the lookout
for them as well.

Retire to your
respective troops.

[trumpet music]

What's that?

They've caught
some more of us.

No one's been caught, Jason.
Not even you.

You've committed no crime
to be afraid of.

I'm sick of being afraid.

I'm sick of hiding
like a hunted thing.

I want to walk free
like other people.

You will, Jason.

- You are safe now.
- No, I'm not.

Not as long as he keeps killing
and thinking that he's right.

He can't be right,
can he, miss?

I don't know.

His reasons may be right, Jason.

They may even be great
and good reasons.

But what your father is doing
is wrong, terribly wrong.

And he will keep on repeating
that wrong as long as he lives.

Then, then I'll never
be free of him

until one of us is dead.
I know that now.

My life don't mean anything.

But if he dies

maybe this whole scheme of his
will die with him.

I'd rather have it that way.

His life...

Even if he is my father

against many thousands.

I'm going to tell you
where to find him.

Well, Jason,
I'm not trying to...

I'm going to tell you anyway.

In the house
of Shubel Morgan, Palmyra.

That's where they went.

That's their headquarters.
Tell the soldiers!

It's better that way.

His life against many thousands.

[instrumental music]

[indistinct chatter]


Hello, darling. How is he?

It's very serious.

I left the doctor with him.

- Poor little devil.
- Jeb, he told me everything.

The whole nightmare
of his 15 years

even the place
where his father is now.

He said he wanted me
to tell the soldiers.

- Where?
- Palmyra.

At the house of
a man named Shubel Morgan.

Shubel Morgan, Palmyra.

- I wonder if that's the truth.
- Jeb. I'm frightened.

That boy is crippled for life.

And that man on the train,
he died for principle.

And a man killed him
for a principle.

One of them is wrong.
But which one?

Who knows the answer
to that, Kit.

Everybody in America
is trying to decide it.

Yes, by words in the East
and by guns in the West.

But one day the words
will turn into guns.

Oh, Jeb, can't it be
stopped now?

Can't the slaves be free
before it's too late?

It will be stopped
when we hang John Brown.

Then the South can settle
our own problem

without loss of pride
at being forced into it

by a bunch of fanatics.

Oh, Jeb, what has pride
got to do with human lives?

Kit, the two things kind of
come together down South.

We can't pry them apart.
Not even with guns.

I hope that's going to be
the same way with us.

Uh-oh, that's me all over.
Clumsy Cluster.

Or can I get into this too?

- Yes.
- Sure, sure.

It's like you're not.
Don't miss much, do you?

Ah, I've seen your work before,
son. That's where I learned.

That's credit one more
to my account, Kit.

I would like to let
the interest accumulate.

- Well, goodbye.
- Goodbye, George.

Hear that?

- Don't be long, Jeb.
- Oh, no, no, no.

- Goodbye.
- Goodbye.

Kit, remember this, will you?
I love you.

Put that in your little bonnet
and keep it there

until I come back.

- I'll remember.
- Goodbye.

Tex: Hey, lieutenant.

- Hello, boys.
- Hello, Lieutenant Jeb.

Say, I want you to keep
an eye on Kit for me

while we're gone, will you?

No. We're going to hunting
John Brown with you.

- What?
- Yeah, we've come to join up.

Who do we see?

A couple of flat-footed rumpots
like you in the army?

Why, you would get lost.

Boys, you better go home
and sleep it off. So long.

[trumpet music]

[instrumental music]

Jeb. Jeb!


He's dead.

If you find John Brown,
tell him.

We'll try to find him.

[instrumental music]

Kit, once when you were
about this high

Tex and Windy brought home
a wolf cub with a broken back.

You nursed it for weeks

but it finally died
with his head in your lap.

You cried for days.

But it was just a wolf cub.

It would probably have grown up
to be a killer like its father.

[instrumental music]

What does being flat-footed
got to do with riding a horse?

Calling me a rumpot
is what hurt me.

I ain't had a drink
since noon.

[instrumental music]

Alright, get the sledge.

[instrumental music]

It sure is expensive salt pork,
Mr. Morgan sir.

Not the way we get 'em.

Round 'em over
and stack 'em in the barn.

Yes, sir.

This looks like
the best shipment

we've had yet.

Wonder what Rader's
worked up about?

Him and the old man
been arguing for an hour.

Looks like another job for us
if Rader thought of it.

West born education
is a wonderful thing.

Yeah, if you can collect on it.


I signed up because
you promised to pay me.

Train this rabble gang of yours

into a solid fast moving
unit of fighters.

Taught 'em how to use these new
rifles, how to follow orders

and take a town
in army fashion.

But I haven't received
a red cent in three months.

Now, what about it?

Mr. Rader, I enlisted you
on the recommendation

of friends in the East, who said
you would work for the cause.

You've done the job well.
I've no complaint up to now.

But our plans are ahead
of any personal greed.

If you feel otherwise,
you are free to get out.

But you must decide
here and now.

I want only loyal men
around me.

You've no argument
with my loyalty.

I proved that in Osawatomie

and every other town
we've raided.

But you hired me as a
military expert at a set price

and I'm only asking
what's rightly due me.

And I say that
you'll receive it in time.

Only let me think in peace.

My son is a prisoner
in the hands of our enemies.

Even now he may have
a rope around his neck.

An innocent boy who never fired
a gun in anger in his life.

While I stand here
powerless to save him.

Alright, I'll wait.

Well, what's our next move?

The Bible has said, "An eye for
an eye and a tooth for a tooth."

Tomorrow at daybreak we will
destroy Delaware crossing.

[instrumental music]


Lieutenant Jeb!

Troop, halt.

Well, what the...

Well, the major sort of
turned us down too.

But here we are,
Lieutenant Jeb.

What do you mean trailing us
halfway across Kansas?

We don't want you to get lost.

You see, I know every wrinkle
of this here country

just like my own face.

Well, you're sure
that's just as dirty?

I've got a good mind
to get a couple of mules

and strap you on the back
and send you home.

A fine looking
pair of soldiers you make.

Well, we needed some of them
pants and a cap.

And then of course
there's some soldiers

just our size gets killed,

Alright, get back
to the end of the column.

Go on before I get that mule.

We don't have to obey no orders.

Since we ain't in the army.

- But we will.
- Yeah.



Wait till Kit hear about this.
She'll skin 'em alive.

That's if they've got
any skin left.

[instrumental music]

[instrumental music]

Who did this?

John Brown.

How many men did he have
with him?

Around a hundred.
Maybe more.

- How long since he left?
- Three, four hours.

We lost count of time.

Oh, you're the man
that had the run in

with one of the Browns
on the train.

- Is this in revenge for that?
- Yes.

We're Free Staters here.

Brown always knew
we'd get him some day

if he didn't get us first.

Well, I'll leave you some men
to help you bury your dead.

Let's see you back
to Leavenworth.

We don't want any help.

This is our fight.

We don't want you
or nobody else to finish it.

I'm going to take care
of John Brown myself.

Get on your way, soldier.
We've got work to do.

I know how you men
must feel about this.

But my orders are to break up
all armed forces.

Yours, John Brown's,
or anyone else's.

I'm sorry, but if you organize
under arms

I won't be able to draw a line
between you.

That suits us.

If it's got to be.

[horses trotting]

[choir singing indistinctly]

What did you find out,

A tube of cavalry from Fort
Leavenworth are headed this way.

Ignorant fools!

Shubel, we're moving camp.
Round up all your men.

Get the wagons ready to roll.
Just food and ammunition.

We're traveling light
and moving fast.

What about the Negroes?
We can't take all of them.

We're not taking any of 'em.

[singing indistinctly continues]

[singing fades]

My children,
the hour of deliverance

I promised you has come.

I'm leaving Kansas now
to continue God's holy work.


"So Gideon took ten men
of his servants

"and did as God
had said unto him.

"And it was so
he did it by night

"and when the men of the wicked
city arose early in the morning

behold, the altar of Baal
was cast down."

Please, Captain Brown.
What do that mean?

- What you gonna do with us?
- It means that you are free.

The first of many millions
to whom I shall

give freedom from slavery.

Does, does just saying so
make us free?

How we gonna live?
Get food and shelter?

There are many good people
in Kansas who will give you

work and protection.

From now on,
you must fend for yourselves

as other free men do.

My work here is done.

- Praise the lord!
- Glory bliss! God, we's free.

The captain done tip his word,
we's free!

We's free! We's free!

[indistinct singing]

You know,
if John Brown is a 100 men

we better send a runner back,
bring up the rest of the troop.

Better do it tonight.

I'm going into Palmyra,

You, alone?
Don't be crazy, Jeb.

That town's full of jayhawkers,
they'd shoot you on sight.

Well, I'll have to take
a chance on that.

I'm gonna get some other
clothes, take a couple of men

and go in
and do some scouting.

I'll try to send you back word.

Good luck.

Jeb: Say, do you two fellows
still want to join the army?

- Huh?!
- I've got a job for you.

It's no picnic,
it's pretty dangerous.

But I think you're the fellows
for it. What do you say?

Do you mean we're gonna have
a real cap and a uniform?


Well, we might have to be buried
in 'em.

But it sure sounds like a deal.

[dramatic music]

The law has got nothing
to do with it.

We came here to join John Brown

because he's a leader,
and a fighter!

The whole thing's going to be
settled right here in Kansas.

We came here to fight slavers,
didn't we?

The only way to fight 'em
is with guns!

Sure give a good lookin' over
in this here's man town.

Yeah, I feel just like I was
takin' a bath in a bath tub

without no sides on it.

The only kind of a tub
you ever was in.

Say, who could I talk to
in this kind of a town

without arising suspicion?

- The town barber.
- That's right.

Anytime a barber can't talk
to a stranger

he's liable to go crazy.

The town barber. Hm.

That's it.

[instrumental music]

- Howdy, boys.
- Howdy.

Pretty good looking horse
for this part of the world.


Kansas is alright
for men and dogs

but it's pretty hard
on women and horses.


Say, look at that brand.

That's an army horse.

Maybe just bought him
from someone.

No, they don't sell 'em.

Nobody rides that brand
but a soldier.

You keep your eye on him
till I get back.

You still got that creepy
feeling about this place?

I don't know whether it's that
or here chiggers.

But something's creeping
over me.

Why don't you scratch
and see if it goes away.

Yeah, I reckon
that is all it was.

Say, I got it now.

We was on the same train
a couple of months ago

when that fellow got killed.

Uh-huh. You probably got me
mixed up with somebody else.

No siree.
I never forget a face.

I was little drunk at the time.

Well, there you are.

The fellow you saw
probably had two faces.

- Been in Palmyra long?
- Oh, just a couple of weeks.

This ain't no town for barbers.

The fellows that ain't trying to
hide their faces

for some reason or other
are too mean to spend the money.

Yes, I've heard you got some
pretty tough customers here.

Tough? Say! I'm afraid
to shave half of them.

Afraid they'll get up
and cut my throat.

[chuckles] Say, do you ever run
across this famous...

- What's his name, John Brown?
- Sure, he came in here once.

Strange looking man,
with a hit mark on his throat.

Jeb: Hit mark? What's that?

Oh, it's an old barber

A little red line that runs
all the way around here.

Anybody born with that mark
is bound to be hung.

That so?

Say, I haven't got one, have I?

Not yet. Maybe.

Well, well.

Keep your hand away.

Get it.

This was quite an idea, Stuart.

You coming in alone first
to look around.

Is this one of your agents?

I ain't never laid eyes
on him before.

I swear it.
I-I don't know him from Adam.

What were you up to?

Well, it's your move.
You figure it out.

My next move is plain enough.

Didn't they teach us
how to handle spies

when we caught 'em red-handed?

Same treatment for renegades,
wasn't it?

When you catch 'em.

This will make you quite a hero,

The class of '54 will turn out
in a body for your funeral.

They may even hang your picture
in the West Point Library.

There's worst places to hang.

Get him out of here, Rader.
We're wasting time.

Just having a last few words
with an old classmate of mine.

And I had them coming to me.

Come on, get up.

We're gonna give you a good look
at what you came to see.

We can't afford
to take chances, sir.

He was sent here as a spy. It's
my advice to get rid of him.

- Let's string him up.
- Goddamn right.

What did you hope to achieve
by coming alone to Palmyra?

The army has orders
from Washington

to bring you to trial.

I hoped that if I came
face to face with you first

a lot of unnecessary bloodshed
might be avoided

for your men and mine.

Were you innocent enough
to think that I would

surrender myself to you
without a fight?

I hope that you might
consider yourself

innocent enough to do that.

Half of the people in America
believe in your theory.

A lot of them even condone
your methods.

That'll guarantee you
a public trial.


I'm not on trial,
but the nation itself.

Are you too stupid and blinded
by a uniform to see what I see?

A dark and evil curse
laying all over this land.

A carnal sin against God.

It can only be wiped out
in blood.

But why in blood?

The people of the Virginia
have considered a resolution

to abolish slavery
for a long time.

They sense that it's
a moral wrong.

And the rest of the South
will follow Virginia's example.

- All I ask is time.
- Time?


For 30 years,
I waited for the South

to cleanse it's soul
of this crime.

Since childhood
I've been possessed

with the fire of correcting
this wrong.

I tried peaceful agitation.

As God as my witness, I tried.

Peaceful means failed
long ago.

Now I shall force a decision

by bringing both side
into armed conflict.

Letters, words, talk,
the time has ended for that.

Strength and action
are wanted now.

Not a voice crying
in the wilderness

but a David armed
with the power and the glory.

- David had a son, hadn't he?
- A son?

Yes, Absalom,
who deserted his father

and went over to the enemy.

What're you trying to tell me,

And Absalom died
because he feared his father.

Jason is dead!

So be it.

My son has paid for the sins
of this world with his life

as once did the son of God.

It shall not be in vain.

Whether you kill me or not
my army will

crush you all in the end.

My advice to you is to find
peace with your maker.

Man 7: Now the big one.
Sit down.

I never liked barber's know-how.

Now spill out,
you little, pitirim weasel.

I'll cut your throat!
Where'd he go?

I swear, I don't know, boys,
uh, well,

th... th... they've took him out
that way.

- Who took him?
- T... three fellas.

One of them was Oliver Brown.

Do you see this razor?
Well, I'm keepin' it.

If you moved a hair when we get
back, I'm gonna strop it

on your liver
and barbecue your carcass.

Now you stay where you are.

[dramatic music]

[door closes]

Back East for me!

I called you all together
as witnesses

to hear my words.

An enemy to the cause
has entered our midst

stealthily, and by night.

With the purpose of planning our

The hand that has never
failed us

has come once again
to our protection.

It's not with malice or revenge
that we take this man's life

but in just retribution.

As befits all enemies
of mankind.

All enemies of God.

Man 8: Ready, sir.


[firing continues]

[dramatic music]

Get back! Get back!
Move away from that door.

Cover those windows!
Surround the barn!

[firing continues]

[glass shattering]

[firing continues]

[music continues]

[glass shattering]

[glass shattering]

[music continues]

Get to the back door!

[firing continues]

Hold on there, captain!

Get down from there
if you don't wanna get killed.

We's coming, boss.

That white man
talk like he's a friend.

[glass shattering]

[firing continues]

[music continues]

[fire crackling]

Lord all mercy, boss!
Looky here!

Get the bags, quick.

[music continues]


Alright, get away
from the barn, men.

- Move on! Hurry it up!
- Let him burn!

Move on the wagons!

Go! Get away from the barn.

Get those wagons rolling.

[indistinct chatter]

Take cover! Behind the wagons!

[guns firing]

It's Oliver!
First Jason, now him.

- You wanna fight on, John?
- As long as breath is in me!

Surround the church!

[bugle charge music]

[dramatic music]

[firing continues]


[music continues]

[firing continues]

- You alright, sir?
- Jeb!

After them, George.
Don't let them get away.

Load up!

[dramatic music]

[Mammy sighs]
Ouch! That's too tight, Mammy.

Don't tell me how to do this,

I've been wrapping
white folks all my life.

When they was babies
I wrapped one end

and when they'd growed up
and took on too much corn liquor

then I wrapped the other end.

Huh. Is that what made you
leave home?

Well, old John Brown said
he is gonna give us freedom

but shook-in's, if this here
Kansas is freedom

then I ain't got no use for it.

- No, sir.
- Me neither.

I just wants to get back home
to Texas

and sit till kingdom come.

Dismount and fall out.

Well, we had a nice ride.

- Both ways.
- Lost him, huh?

He and a few others got away
in the hills.

I think I hit one, Jeb.
You oughta heard him holler.

Heard him holler?
You jug head, that was me.

- You shot my hat off.
- Well, it won't matter much.

He's broken for good.

From now on, he'll find
every man's hand against him.

Nothing will ever break
the force of John Brown, Jeb.

- Not even death.
- Oh, you are wrong, George.

He's finished.
His force is broken forever.

Why has thou afflicted
thy servant, oh, lord?

Were for do I not find favor
with thee?

Why has thou laid the weight
of all his people upon me?


This is a sign for which
I have waited, oh, lord.

This is your command.
The burning bush!

Let there be no peace
in all this land

until we have revenged ourselves
upon thine enemies.

As once you smote
the Philistines

smite now the fury of thy wrath

upon these blind misbegotten

I shall be thy right hand.

I, John Brown,
shall be the sword of Jehovah.

[instrumental music]

Take a good look, gentlemen.

The beginning of the railroad
to Santa Fe.

These rails are gonna stretch
their way right across old trail

right over Kansas down into
the territory of New Mexico.

Someday we can tell our
grandchildren that we opened

the doors of America
to the great Southwest.

- Won't we, Kit?
- You just build your railroad.

I'm not guaranteeing

Yep! The end of John Brown
was our beginning.

Maybe it'll cost a lot more
blood and grief

but it's gonna be worth it.

Dad, can I ring the bell
on the first train?

Yep, and blow the whistle.

That'll be a day
you can live for, Kit.

Oh, won't it?

[music continues]

Come fill your glasses

And stand up in a row.

To singing sentimentally.

We're going for to go.

In the army there's sobriety.

Promotion's very slow.

So we'll sing our

Of Benny Havens' oh.

Old Benny Havens' oh.

Old Benny Havens' oh.

We'll sing our reminiscences.

Of Benny Havens' oh


[instrumental music]

Congratulations, boys.

- Thanks, sir.
- That was excellent.

I didn't recognize the song.
Where does it come from?

It's an old army song,
a farewell.

These young men
have all been promoted

and are ordered back
to Washington.

- That's splendid.
- You, lucky devils!

I had to wait ten years
for my captaincy.

And I also followed tradition
by proposing

to my wife the same night.

Would you like some

- Yes, I would.
- Splendid idea.

Well, I think I'll run down
to the stable.

Horse threw a shoe this morning.
Ah. See you later.

I'll go with you,
maybe I can find it.

Why did you have to go
and lie for

tellin' the major
we is the best barbeque

along the Santa Fe trail?

Oh, I just mentioned it
sort of casual.

How'd I know he was gonna
take us up on it?

Wait till he starts eating this.

[scoffs] He won't take us up,
he'd take us up and out.

Do you think it's gonna be hard
chewing, Tex?

Well, I don't know,
I still got a hunch

we should've skinned it first.

We took the horns off of it,
didn't we?

What is a captain's pay, Jeb,

- Uh-uh, $40.
- Forty a month.


Say, that's enough to get..

- Go on, get what?
- Well, you know, this and that.

What're you planning to do
with your extra pay?

Exactly the same thing
as you are, son.

- Want to draw straws?
- Not this time.

This means too much.

Well, how're we gonna
handle it then? Take turns?

I don't trust you Southern boys
in the moon light.

let's ask her together.

- Hey!
- Wait a minute.

- What is this? You lunatics!
- Come on. Don't argue..

Just come along and listen.

There you are.

George has got something
to ask you, Kit.

You have the floor, George.

Well, I don't know
just how to start, Kit.

But there's an old Indian woman
who hangs around

the fort
and tells people's fortunes.

She is supposed to be
a wonder at it and..

- Well..
- Yes, George?

Well, she said I'm going
to get married soon

to a very beautiful girl.

Did she, George?
That's very nice.

Pretty slick opening remark.

Kit, were you ever by any chance
a blonde?

- Why? No. Not even as a baby.
- Are you sure?

This old woman
has never been wrong before.

- Absolutely sure.
- Well, maybe she's still right.

There's a whole lot of beautiful
blondes in the world, George.

Let's ask her.

- Let's.
- Wait a minute.

Kit, are you in love with him
and not with me?

I guess I am, George.

- You're gonna marry him?
- Oh, wait a minute.

I can handle this proposal
from now, son.

Kit, you really mean that?

You haven't asked me
anything yet.

I wonder if I said
the wrong thing.

Mm-mm-mm, couldn't have been
more perfect.

Now where's that Indian?

[instrumental music]

[chanting in foreign language]

What she saying, Kit?
You know the lingo.

She says that this is
one of the last times

we'll all of us be together
as friends.

[all laughing]

Now ask her something sensible.

Who is gonna be
the first general?

[speaking foreign language]

She says that one day
you'll all be famous men.

Great in battle.

But bitter enemies.

Pickett, Hood, Custer, Sheridan,

and me enemies?
Now I know she's crazy.

Where did you ever pickup
this old figure, George?

I can tell better fortunes
than that with tea leaves.

Well, we might as well get
our money's worth.

Ask what we're gonna
fight about.

Yeah, who is gonna start it?

[speaking foreign language]

Well, what's this?
Too ridiculous to tell?

She says,
the fight has already started.

Somewhere in the east,
a man is lighting a torch.

Now, at this very moment.

The two of us will help
to kill him.

But none of us can stop him.


Here is where
I would attack first.

The arsenal at Harpers Ferry.

Give me only a 100 good men,
Dr. Russell.

Well armed and God-fearing men
who believe in the cause.

I will lead them through

Arouse the thousands
of discontented slaves

who will flock to join us.

Then sweep down through
the south.

Through the Carolinas,
Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi

then with the entire nation
in the state of chaos

we can dictate our own terms.

Have you considered the army,
Captain Brown?

Surely, they'll be after you
in full force

within a few hours
after you first attack.

Let them come, Dr. Russell.
Let them try to stop me.

I've studied that country
for years.

It's full of good hiding places

natural forts where large forces
of brave men

can defy pursuit indefinitely.

Mr. Rader will go ahead of us
and scout the town.

With his knowledge
of military methods

and our great advantage
of surprise

we can outwit the army
at every turn.

Captain Brown,
this plan of yours is mad.

Worse than mad,
it's high treason.

Such a brazen attack
would lead to civil war.

That is exactly what I want.

Is it your wish then to destroy
the union?

My answer to that is yes.
To the devil with the union.

We've got to fight sometime,
it might as well be now.


Gentlemen, I came here to Boston
at great personal risk.

There's a price on my head
of $10,000.

So, my time is precious.

You've given me much help
and encouragement up to now.

But all that we've done
in Kansas and elsewhere

will be all wasted

unless you see it through
to the glorious end.

How much money will you need?

[dramatic music]

We now possess the guns,

pikes, a complete store
of supplies.

To place in the RSF,
Harpers Ferry

day break, Monday,
October the 16th.

We must strike with two forces,
suddenly with complete surprise

and then move rapidly
through Virginia.

You men all know what will be
demanded of you.

- Yes, we are waiting, captain.
- Captain.

It's Rader. He made good time.

Well, what did you find?

Speak up. Is anything wrong
at Harpers Ferry.

Well, the town itself
won't any trouble.

There's a bridge at the
Baltimore and Ohio railroad

to be blocked
and we got to cut that

telegraph line to Washington.

What about the government

It's guarded by only two men.

Here, I made this rough map
of the place.

Good. Excellent.

This is precisely what I wanted.

We must first take
some hostages from the town

that'll prevent an attack
by the civilians.

Then we'll move directly
on the arsenal.

- There's something else.
- What?

I want to settle our account.

Back in Kansas
you promised to pay me

what's due
when you got the money.

How dare you demand a settlement
of a private matter?

With the nation hour of
deliverance not three days off.

That's putting the cart
before the horse, isn't it?

I've done a job for you
nobody else can do.

So, I was right at Palmyra

the cause itself
means nothing to you.

I'm only holding you
to your word.

Are you, indeed,
have you forgotten so

quickly my measures with

I haven't forgotten anything.

But you got the money to pay me
and you can't afford not to.

Then add this to your memory.

I haven't waited 30 years

to bargain with a rouge
at the final hour.

[instrumental music]


This is the kind of army life
I like.

- Do you ever see me waltz?
- I've heard of it.

But this ain't no Santa Fe
shake down.

Hold it. You're in high society
now, come on.

[clears throat]

May I have your invitations
please, gentlemen?

- What's them?
- Thems 'em little white cards.

We ain't go no invitations, Joe.
Can't we get in on our uniforms?

No, sir. Not unless you wants to
go right out on 'em again.

Oh, we're the fellows
who cleaned up Kansas.

- Ain't you ever heard of us.
- Sorry, sir.

But we don't need no cleaning.

Good evening.

[instrumental music]

Hello, handsome.

- Oh, hi, Jeb.
- My! You're a dream tonight.

- How's the party?
- I don't know.

She hasn't come out yet.

- Who you waiting for?
- Old friend of mine.

Promised me a surprise tonight.

A night I'd remember
the rest of my life.

Yeah? You don't know any girl
here but Kit, you know?

I-I'm not talking.

Maybe you don't rate quite as
high as you think you do.

Captain Stuart.

[door opens]

Hello, Kit.

- You look wonderful.
- Thank you.

Say, George was just telling me
you've promised him

the biggest night of his life.

- Where do I come in?
- You don't.

- I'm very fond of George.
- Thank you, Kit.

I haven't told you this, but we
have a deep understanding.

Wait a minute, Kit.
Are you serious? What is this?

I'm gonna take care of George
for the rest of his life.

That is if he's the man
I think he is.

Oh, Kit, I have my faults.

But I can be as faithful
and loyal

as any man that ever lived.

We'll soon see.

Now wait here, both of you.

Tough luck, son,
I guess we can't all

have charm and good looks too.

Custer, I hope you are joking
or you're not gonna have either.

Oh, don't take it so hard, I
mean, this is something that...



Charlotte, I want you to meet.

Captain Custer
and Captain Stuart.

This is Charlotte Davis. We were
schoolmates together in Boston.

- It's a pleasure, Ms. Davis.
- Charlotte: Thank you, captain.

Yes, indeed.
A great pleasure.

I've heard so much about you,
Captain Custer.

- Me?
- Charlotte: Mm-hm.

Well, I, uh...
Well, that is, uh, I mean...

George: Well, uh...
well, that is... I...

- Shall we dance, Jeb?
- Yes, of course.

- Who is she?
- That's the blonde.

The one that George was promised
by old "sit in the mud."

Oh! I see.

[instrumental music]

Well, she's pretty nice.

Don't you think?

Left wheel.

Company, halt!

Present arms,
prepare to scoop.

[clears throat]

- Uh, sir.
- Yes, sir.

[clears throat]

About face!

Company, forward march!

Eyes right!

Right wheel.

Well, there I was right out
in the middle of Kansas

facing 500 crazy fanatics
heavily armed.

And me with only 15 soldiers.

Good heavens, captain.
How terrifying.

What did you do?

I sized up the situation
at a glance

dismounted and walked
straight toward them.

Not... not alone.

My dear, young lady, there comes
a time in every soldier's life

when he must stand
or fall alone.

And if you knew the army
you'd understand

that he who hesitates is lost.

Well, that was something
wonderful, captain.

Oh, it was nothing. Really.

[music continues]


Will you come and meet
my father, captain?

Why, I'd be delighted.
Is he in the government service?

Yes, but I think he'll lose
his job in the next election.

Oh, that's too bad.
Say, he should be in the army.

You know,
politics don't bother us.

He'd rather go fishing anyway.

- Father.
- Hello, Charlotte.

- Hello, Colonel Lee.
- My dear.

Father, I'd like you to meet
Captain George Custer.

Oh, but of course I met
the captain at West Point

when he graduated, didn't I?

- Yes, sir.
- How're you, Custer?

I'm fine, Colonel Lee.

We've heard good things
about you, congratulations.

Yes, the captain's just been
telling me

how he put down the trouble
in Kansas by himself.

Splendid job at Palmyra.

Wasn't there also a chap
named Stuart, uh...

Jeb Stuart connected
with that campaign?


Yes, sir. He was around.

Shall we dance?

[instrumental music]

Left turn.

About face.


- Jeb.
- Go away.

You danced with your sister
once already.

I don't want her,
I want you, come on.

Hey, you can't leave me
stranded alone

in the middle of ball room.

Quiet, spread. Phil, Phil.

Take over this detail,
will you?

- Are you drunk?
- If I'm not, I ought to be.

I've just seen enough to knock
anybody down.

What're you talking about?

An old friend of yours
is outside.

And he asked me
to bring you to him.

[music continues]

It's real.
I almost touched it.

What're you doing here?

I came to find you.

I know what you think of me,
Stuart. That I'm no good.

Well, maybe you're right.

Well, maybe I've got something
to tell you

that'll change your opinion.

You'll have a hard time
doing that.

Suppose I told you that I left
John Brown three hours ago

with a well armed force of men

not very many miles
from where we're standing.

I'd say
you are out of your mind.

All set to strike
at Harpers Ferry

on the Maryland-Virginia line
sometime tonight.

With the reinforcements
of over 1200 men

expected before daybreak
from Pennsylvania.

Brown plans to arouse the slaves

first in Virginia
and then throughout the south

in open rebellion.

The telegraph wires will be cut
and he'll block the railroad

and then at daybreak
they rush the arsenal

take thousands of weapons
with the idea

of arming the Negroes.

Well, that's the situation,
gentlemen. Move for move.

I don't know, you may be able
to get there ahead of 'em

but if you do,
you've got to move fast tonight.

It's fantastic,
our Secret Service has reported

John Brown to be
out of the country.

Well, I oughta know where he is?

I've been with him
every day and every mile

since we left Kansas.

Then why have you informed
on him.

Don't forget, colonel,
I was in the service once.

I was young,
and I made a mistake.

I didn't know that then
but I do now.

I guess some of the things
we learned at West Point

stay on inside of us
a lot deeper than we realize.

Anyway, I couldn't stand by
and see my country torn apart

by a mad man like Brown.

I had to come here.

This was something a lot bigger
than myself.

Couldn't have been
the size of the reward

you'll get for turning him in,
could it?

I said why I came here,
and that's the truth.

But I am entitled any reward.

I'm even willing to go back
there and rejoin him tonight

just in case he gets suspicious
or changes his plans.

Now what more proof
do you want than that?

I believe him because
it's too dangerous not to.

How soon can you start, colonel?

We'll be ready to leave
in an hour.

The officers are all here.

Call them at once and proceed

with all speed
to Harpers Ferry.

[indistinct chatter]

You have your orders,
Captain Stuart?

Yes, sir.

Jeb, what is it?

- What's happening?
- John Brown.

Get the little Davis girl to
take you home.

- Will you, darling?
- But why, but...

I'm sorry.
I can't explain now, no time.

Try to keep the others calm,
tell 'em,

there's nothing
to be excited about.

- Goodbye.
- Goodbye.

[dramatic music]

Good. There's no more worry
on that score.

You say no train is due until
well after daybreak.

No, sir, not until 8 o'clock.

I rode within ten miles of
Washington to make sure.

What kept you so long?

I had to take a side road
both ways.


Shubel, Townsley.

Get your men
block the railroad bridge.

We meet below the arsenal
at daybreak.

Kitzmiller, go to the town with
20 men and get the hostages.

John: You know the ones?
Kitzmiller: Yes sir.

John: Rest you men, follow me.

[dramatic music]

Drop your guns.

Captain, we got enough guns here
to arm a 1000 men.

And plenty of powder
and bullets.

Stack those guns and ammunition
near the door ready to haul.

Hurry up, boys,
get 'em out there.

Men from Pennsylvania will
be here within the hour.

This isn't an arsenal,
it's a fortress.

We could stand off
the whole army here.

What about the prisoners,

What is the meaning
of this outrage?

Why have you broken into our
homes and dragged us here?

- Who are you? John Brown!
- I am John Brown of Kansas.

You are prisoners
of the provisional government

of the United States.

If the citizens of
Harpers Ferry

attempt any interference,
I shall use you as I see fit.

Otherwise, you will be
peacefully released

when we depart.

We must adhere to our schedule
to the precise minute.

We will leave here
at 10 o'clock and by nightfall

we should be 35 miles
into Virginia.

What about the men
from Pennsylvania, sir?

If they're late in arriving,
we cannot wait.

Wouldn't that be taking
a long chance?

No word of us can leak out
until tomorrow

maybe even two or three days,
and then we'd be 1,500 men.

I don't see that there's
any reason to hurry.

- That sound sensible.
- I disagree.

I'm anxious to get out of here
and time

is our most valuable weapon.

Well, you're in command, sir.

But that's been the fatal
mistake to many an expedition.

My advice is to wait.


Some of the townspeople
are firing at us?

Just a handful of "em
with old shotguns.

We can clean them out
in five minutes.

[firing continues]

Idiots! Why do they fight us?
Can't they understand?

[firing continues]

- What is your name?
- Brewer.

If you value your life and those
of your fellow townsman

you will do as I say.


Stop firing. You're endangering
the your lives of your friends.

John Brown promises that if we
leave the arsenal in his hands

he will harm none of us.

No! Run down to us!

We'll cover you. Quick.

[gun fires]

Stupid cattle!

Can't they understand
we're here on a righteous cause.

Their interests are also ours.
The good of the whole nation.

We'll leave out lesson
at Harpers Ferry

for the rest of the South
to profit by.

Wipe out those fools
at the foot of the hill.

[guns firing]

[dramatic music]

Cease firing!

We're moving into the hills.

Take all the weapons
and ammunition

you can carry with speed.

It's well past noon.

We can wait no longer
for the Pennsylvanians.

[telegraph clicking]

"Eighteen citizens
of Harpers Ferry killed,

thirty-three wounded
by John Brown's invaders

in open rebellion.”

It's from the second force
at Frederick, Maryland.

"The road to Harpers Ferry
is blocked.

Unable to get through.”

"Jefferson guards
and the Winchesters

under Lee's command passed
through Upperville an hour ago.

They will be the first
to arrive at the ferry."

[dramatic music]

- What're you watching, Rader?
- The North Road, sir...

The North Road is over there.
This is the Washington Turnpike.

Well, I thought our men might
circle the town...

That was not their orders.
Help with the wagons.

Yes, sir.

Well, don't you think we ought
to wait another half hour?

It might be...

Every man inside!
Bolt the doors!

- Bolt those door!
- Man the loophole!

[dramatic music]


[instrumental music]

Wait, you said.

"There is no cause to hurry.

Yes, sure I did.
I thought we had time.

- Stuart.
- Yes, sir.

I want you to take this under
a white flag to John Brown.

Right, sir.

There's to be no parlaying.
Yes or no?

If it's a refusal,
wave your hat to us.

Right, sir.

Hang on to this, will you?

Captain Brown,
they're coming up the road

with a flag of truce.

[music continues]

Open the door.

- You're John Brown of Kansas?
- I am.

We've met before I think?

And thanks to Mr. Rader,
we how meet again.

This is Colonel Lee's formal
demand for your surrender.

Once more, sir, you over rate
your strength and supposing

that I can be taken
against my will.

- That's your final answer?
- It is.

We prefer to die here.

Try to surround them!

Take troop B to the right
of the gallop,

troop A at the left
of the gallop.

Troop C, draw your guns,

- Take cover!
- Forward and a gallop! Ho!

[bugle charge music]


[firing continues]

Bring the right flank
into position.

[firing continues]

[bugle charge music]

[music continues]


Attack with C troop
on the left flank.

C troop, at first!

[firing continues]


[cannons firing]

Prepare a battering ram.


Keep firing!




[bugle charge music]


[music continues]

All of you keep on firing!

[music continues]


So Judas betrayed him
for a handful of silver.




[dramatic music]

Cease firing.

[bugle music]

[instrumental music]

Man 9: Over, hut!

[instrumental music]

Now, Kit.
He was born for this.

I'm not crying for him, Jeb.

I see something else up there.

Something much more terrible
than just one man.

Have you any last words,
John Brown?

I am only walking as God
foreordained I should walk.

All of my actions,

even the follies
leading to this disaster

were decreed to happen long ages
before this world began.

But I cannot remember
a night so dark

has to have hindered
the coming day,

or a storm so furious
has to prevent the return

of warm sunshine
in the country of peace.

I, John Brown,
am now quite certain

that the crimes of this guilty
land can never be purged away

but with blood.

I let them hang me.

I forgive them
and may God forgive them

for they know not what they do.

So perish all such enemies
of the union.

All such foes of the human race.

[instrumental music]

Man 10: "For this company,
and thereto have given

and pledged their truth
each to the other.

And have declared the same by
giving and receiving a ring

and by joining hands.

I pronounce that
they are man and wife

united forever with ties that no
man shall breaketh under,

nor the years disturbed

whose shining path shall run
together from this day

hence unto eternity."”

[instrumental music]

[music continues]