||Abandoned in childhood in pre-Civil War Texas, Tom Patterson grows up tough, wily, and, surprisingly good-natured. These traits serve him well as a conscript cavalryman in the Confederate Army. His courage in combat and his resourcefulness in dangerous situations earn the attention, admiration, and friendship of his sergeant, Ben Haley. Slightly older and more levelheaded, Ben is a big brother mentor to the impetuous Tom during the war, and afterwards, they continue as friends and partners.||Seeking new lives in the West, the two young men sign on with the Union Pacific. Serving as mounted guards, their duty is to protect construction workers on the transcontinental railroad from marauding Indians. With the battles of the war behind them, new and exciting adventures await as Tom and Ben face the many perils and the violence of the expanding frontier.