She Wore a Yellow Ribbon examines the unusual lives of twelve women who defied societal conventions and went west young woman. Folklore has it that women in the Old West were either wives or daughters of military men, or the ubiquitous “camp followers.” This book blows holes in that misogynistic viewpoint.
Profiles include Elizabeth Custer, wife of the famous (or perhaps infamous considering, recent revelations about his behavior at the Last Stand) General George Armstrong Custer. She has been relegated by history to the periphery of the Custer legend. It is particularly gratifying to see her portrayed as a courageous woman who nursed wounded soldiers back to health and wrote three books detailing her life as a military wife.
To learn about women who pioneered the Old West and the consequent role of women, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon: Women Soldiers and Patriots of the Western Frontier is a worthy book.