Women of the Fort and the City
Among these would be some women who traveled to the West with the U. S. army. Wives of officers and enlisted personnel shared in an aspect of western living distinctly different from many other women. Often young and ill-informed about the West, typically a recent bride, these women found themselves thrust into some of the most rural locations, where they lived under taxing conditions. Because the forts gave visual and unrelenting affirmation to the many tensions between white and Native American cultures, a mood of uncertainty and insecurity prevailed for all. Military women, few in number, lived each day unsure of the surrounding world and ill at ease within the masculine army community.
The military caste system did not encourage casual mingling between officers and enlisted soldiers, and that code carried over to women's social relationships. An officer's wife often hired her