Phoebe Anderson was born dirt poor in rural Missouri, moved to Kansas with her father and brother only to see them slaughtered during the Lawrence guerrilla raid. Armed with a hatred of the bushwhackers and the ability to shoot the eyes out of squirrel at 100 yards, she dresses as a boy and joins the Union Army as a sharpshooter. Later she leaves the military and becomes a riverboat gambler, then works in a hospital in New Orleans nursing wounded soldiers. She wins half interest in a cattle ranch in a poker game and heads for Texas and then Montana to start a ranch in the Beaverhead Valley. She endures harsh winters, Indians, cattle rustlers, and the isolation of living in 19th century Montana, to build a cattle ranch and home for her family.
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