Women in the United States military have received more recognition than ever in recent years, but women also played vital roles in battles and campaigns of previous generations. Cathy Williams served as Pvt. William Cathay from 1866 to 1868 with the famed Buffalo Soldiers who patrolled the 900-mile Santa Fe Trail. Tucker traces her life from her birth as a slave near Independence, Missouri, to her service in Company A, 38th U.S. Infantry, one of the six black units formed following the Civil War. Cathy Williams remains the only known African American woman to have served as a Buffalo Soldier in the Indian Wars. Her remarkable story continues to represent a triumph of the human spirit.