In the waning years of the Civil War, the secluded Ozark community of Border City prides itself on its neutrality. But the town quickly becomes a convenient refuge for such violent renegades as Charles Quantrill (Brian Donlevy), Jesse and Frank James (Ben Cooper, James Brown), and Cole Younger (Jim Davis). Into this lawless town comes the innocent Sally Maris (Joan Leslie), whose brother (Reed Hadley) runs the local saloon. When her brother dies in a gunfight over Quantrill’s wife, Kate (Audrey Totter), Sally takes over the Lead Dollar Saloon and braces herself for a showdown. Meanwhile, the opposing armies converge on Border City, each seeking lead from the mines owned by the domineering mayor (Nina Varela). Caught in the middle of these warring factions, Sally is accused of being a Confederate spy, and is taken by Union soldiers to the hanging tree, where an unexpected fate awaits her.