By Jamie Devine
The infantry run their daily drills, the smell of sulfur lingering in the air. The cavalry are mounted and heading towards the area of patrol, their horses galloping by and kicking up dirt. The officer signs off on papers in his office, while the sounds of the blacksmith’s forge clang in the background. Children are playing in the parade ground as their mothers chat among themselves. This would have been a typical scene at a military fort in the mid-19th-century West. Yes, women and children did live at military forts. They lived and interacted among the soldiers in a male-dominated environment.