Warrior Women: Buffalo Calf Road Woman

Buffalo Calf Road Woman (c. 1850 – 1879)

  • Buffalo Calf Road Woman was born around 1850 into the Northern Cheyenne Tribe.
  • She was married to Black Coyote and had two children.
  • This Warrior Woman gained fame when she rescued her brother, Comes In Sight, at the Battle of the Rosebud in 1876.
  • Comes In Sight and his horse were injured and left on the battlefield when the Cheyenne retreated.  Buffalo Calf Road Woman rode out under fire, at full gallop, hauled up her brother, and managed to get him to safety.
  • Her remarkable act of bravery rallied the remaining Cheyenne toward a final victorious push against General George Cook’s soldiers.
  • In her honor, the Cheyenne call the Battle of the Rosebud, The Fight Where The Girl Saved Her Brother.
  • She also accompanied her husband in the Battle of the Little Bighorn (1876).  Legend claims she was the warrior who knocked Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer from his horse before he died.
  • Buffalo Calf Road Woman and Black Coyote were part of the Northern Cheyenne exodus from Indian Territory in 1878, led by Dull Knife and Little Wolf.
  • The family were captured on route and taken into custody.
  • The Warrior Woman died from diphtheria in Miles City the following year.

Sources:

Amazing Women In History, “Buffalo Calf Road Woman: http://www.amazingwomeninhistory.com/buffalo-calf-road-cheyenne-warrior-woman/

Wikipedia, “Buffalo Calf Road, Heroic Cheyenne Warrior Woman,” at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_Calf_Road_Woman

Indian Wars: Battle on the Red Fork (1876)

Battle on the Red Fork

red-river

Date:             November 25, 1876.

Opponents:  Colonel Ranald S. Mackenzie, leading troops from Fort Robinson and a collection of Native American mercenary scouts

                        v.

                        Chief Dull Knife and the Northern Cheyenne, led by Chief Little Wolf.

Place:             The Red Fork on the Powder River, Wyoming Territory.

Factors:       * This battle is also known as the Dull Knife Fight.

                       * Colonel Mackenzie was informed of an extremely large village camped on the Powder River.  He set off with 1,000 men to investigate, hoping to find Crazy Horse and punish him for his role at the Little Bighorn.  One third of his army comprised of Native American scouts, working for the promise of any horses they could steal from their traditional Cheyenne enemies.

                       * The army attacked at dawn.  They drove the sleepy, half-naked warriors from their tipis into the frozen countryside.

                       * Chief Dull Knife’s braves offered a fierce resistance but finally had to retreat from their village.  It was plundered and destroyed.

                      * 3 of Chief Dull Knife’s sons were killed.  It was so cold that 11 babies froze in their mother’s arms, and several of the refugee tribe suffered from frostbite.

Results:       * This defeat ended the Northern Cheyenne’s ability to wage war on the Great Plains.

                      * Chief Dull Knife led the wounded, old, and non-combatants to surrender at Fort Robinson.

                      * Many of the warriors fled to join forces with Crazy Horse and the Oglala Sioux.

                      * The soldiers reported 7 killed and 22 wounded.

                     * The Cheyenne took 80 casualties.  They not only mourned the death of 40 of their people, but also an end to their old way of life.

Sources:

Wikipedia, “Dull Knife Fight,” at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dull_Knife_Fight

WyoHistory.org, “Dull Knife Fight,” at http://www.wyohistory.org/essays/dull-knife-fight-1876-troops-attack-cheyenne-village-red-fork-powder-river