Members of the Regiment: Army Officers' Wives on the Western Frontier, 1865-1890

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Overview

Many extraordinary women traveled west with their Army officer husbands between 1865 and 1890 and discovered a world that was completely controlled by the United States Army. The Army as a public institution colored virtually every aspect of their domestic lives. Army directives, customs, and traditions imposed social obligations on these women, and the world of the frontier Army garrison continually challenged their sense of what it meant to be true women. Remarkably, they flourished and established a defined role for themselves that went beyond the conventional definition of true womanhood.

The shared values, loyalties, and patriotism within the institutional environment of the frontier garrison transcended gender. As distinctly masculine as the Army garrison was perceived to be, the officers' wives shared with their comrades in arms an unequivocal commitment to the Regiment. Because of their presence, the frontier garrison became a much different place to live, as they subtly and slowly changed the very nature of the institution through their efforts to bring some notion of proper society to these rugged circumstances. Unlike most studies, which focus only on farm and frontier women, this volume details the experiences of the women who viewed the world from within garrison walls.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

MICHELE J. NACY returned to graduate school and earned her Ph.D. in American History after spending nearly fourteen years as an Army officer's wife and mother of four. She has taught American History and Women's History courses at several universities and colleges, as she has continued to "follow the drum" and followed her husband to several new assignments.

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Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

The Role of Women in the 19th Century

Officers' Wives on the Frontier

The Indians

Army Rules, Regulations, and Traditions

Enlisted Men, Blacks, and Mexicans

Making a Home and Family Life

Making the Marriage Work

Conclusion

Appendices

Selected Bibliography

Index

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