Josey Wales is a peaceful farmer in the days near the end of the Civil War. After his home is burned and his family murdered, he hardens into a human bullet - dedicated to destroying the renegades who took his "life." He joins a band of unreconstructed rebel guerilla fighters who continue to fight the Union - even after the official surrender of the Confederacy - an action which makes them, legally, outlaws. Josey is driven by vengeance, but after a while, that's not enough. Back before his own personal Holocaust, he had been a builder - of home, family, farm, and life. And no matter how much ice he's wrapped himself in, down inside there's still the soul of a living man. While Wales exists, he's pulled by this hidden yearning to Live. Each day offers him chances to remember, to assuage his yearning, to begin again. And the movie shows us how Josey Wales - a mere seeker of vengeance - learns to live again, rededicated to the values he chose so long ago.