24. Jun, 2017

BLOG 14-NATIVE INDIAN WOMEN AT THE BATTLE OF THE LITTLE BIG HORN

As today is the 141st anniversary of the Battle of the Little Big Horn and the famous Custer’s Last Stand-June 25th, 1876, so much discussion and anger was placed against the Native American Tribes. But remember, it was the white man that broke the treaties when the greed of certain me falsified claims of gold in the black hills and the Native Americans rose up to defend their homelands.

This week’s blog however does not speak of the battle or of Custer and his men as there is so much already wrote and on film, but on a small group of unsung heroes of the battle.

It is little fact that as Major Reno distracted the natives at one end of the village so Custer could ride to the other end and stop the elderly, woman and children from escaping and use them as bargaining tools against the over whelming natives, a small part of the Indian force was made up of female Warriors whom participated in the battle.

This is about some of these women:

 

Buffalo Calf Road Woman

Cheyenne leader

Knowing for     Rescuing her wounded brother at Battle of the Rosebud. According to oral tradition, she knocked Custer off his horse at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

Buffalo Calf Road Woman, or Brave Woman (1850s – 1879), was a Northern Cheyenne woman who saved her wounded warrior brother, Chief Comes in Sight, in the Battle of the Rosebud (as it was named by the United States) in 1876. Her rescue helped rally the Cheyenne warriors to win the battle. She fought next to her husband in the Battle of the Little Bighorn that same year.

Northern Cheyenne storytellers credited Buffalo Calf Road Woman with striking the blow that knocked Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer off his horse before he died.

During the Battle of the Rosebud, the Cheyenne and Lakota, allied under the leadership of Crazy Horse, had been retreating, and they left the wounded Chief Comes in Sight on the battlefield. Suddenly Buffalo Calf Road Woman rode out onto the battlefield at full speed and grabbed up her brother, carrying him to safety. Her courageous rescue caused the Cheyenne to rally, and they defeated General George Crook and his forces. In honor of Buffalo Calf Road Woman, the Cheyenne called the Battle of Rosebud "The Fight Where the Girl Saved Her Brother".

Buffalo Calf Road Woman is documented as also having fought at the Battle of Little Bighorn. There she fought alongside her husband Black Coyote.

The Cheyenne oral history of the battle, tribal storytellers spoke of how it was Buffalo Calf Road Woman who had struck the blow that knocked Custer off his horse before he died in the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

After surrendering to the U.S., Buffalo Calf Road Woman, her husband Black Coyote, and their two children were relocated with most of the Northern Cheyennes to the Southern Cheyenne Reservation in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). In September, 1878 she and her family were part of the Northern Cheyenne Exodus, a breakout from the Oklahoma reservation to their home in Montana. Along the way, her husband shot and killed a Cheyenne chief named Black Crane, and their family totalling 8 people was banished from Little Wolf's band of Cheyennes. After this, Black Coyote and two other Cheyenne men attacked two U.S. soldiers along Mizpah Creek in Montana, killing one. Soldiers came from Fort Keogh and hunted the family down, capturing them 5 days later on April 10, 1879. This event became known as the Mizpah Creek incidents. The small group was taken to Miles City, Montana, where the three men including Black Coyote were tried for murder and scheduled to be executed on June 8, 1879. While her husband was in prison, Buffalo Calf Road Woman died of diphtheria in May, 1879 at Miles City. When Black Coyote learned of this, he hanged himself in the prison.

 

Minnie Hollow Wood

Minnie Hollow Wood (1856- 1930s) was a Lakota woman who earned the right to wear a warbonnet because of her valour at the Battle of Little Big Horn. Her husband's name was Hollow Wood. He was a Cheyenne, who had also fought at the Little Big Horn. The Hollow Woods surrendered to Colonel Nelson A. Miles at Fort Keogh in Montana in 1877

Minnie Hollow Wood lived on the Cheyenne reservation in Montana and became an informant of author and ethnologist Thomas Bailey Marquis. Marquis suggested that she was a "favorite" of Miles while she was a prisoner at Fort Keogh.

 

Moving Robe Woman

Sioux, Tȟašína Máni

Known for        Fought against Custer during the Battle of Little Big Horn to avenge her brother, One Hawk

Nickname(s)     Mary Crawler, Her Eagle Robe, She Walks With Her Shawl, and Walking Blanket Woman

Moving Robe Woman (Sioux name Tȟašína Máni), also known as Mary Crawler, Her Eagle Robe, She Walks With Her Shawl, and Walking Blanket Woman, was a Hunkpapa Sioux woman who fought against Custer during the Battle of Little Big Horn to avenge her brother, One Hawk, who had been killed. Her father's name was Crawler, and he was also present at the battle. An Oglala Lakota warrior named Fast Eagle claimed that he had held Custer's arms while Moving Robe Woman stabbed him in the back, but several other warriors claimed to have killed Custer, so it is uncertain if she actually killed him, especially since there are no published post-mortem accounts that describe Custer as having stab wounds, and because officers who found his body described him as having died of gunshot wounds.

 

One Who Walks with the Stars

One Who Walks With the Stars (also translated as Walks with Stars Woman or Woman-Who-Walks-with-the-Stars) was an Oglala Lakota woman who was the wife of Crow Dog, a Brulé Lakota warrior. She killed two soldiers by slashing and clubbing them in the water of the river bank during the Battle of Little Big Horn.

According to survivors of Little Big Horn, one of these killings took place while One Who Walks With the Stars was rounding up stray cavalry horses in woodland near the Brulé camp. Seeing one of Custer's men crawling through the brush in an attempt to reach the river, she took a piece of driftwood and clubbed him to death.

 

Pretty Nose

Pretty Nose (1851 – after 1952) was an Arapaho woman, and according to her grandson, was a war chief who participated in the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876. In some sources, Pretty Nose is called Cheyenne, although she was identified as Arapaho on the basis of her red, black and white beaded cuffs.The two tribes were allies at the Battle of the Little Bighorn and are still officially grouped together as the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes.

Pretty Nose had a sister named Spotted Fawn who was 13 in 1878 making Spotted Fawn about 14 years younger than Pretty Nose.

 

The Other Magpie

The Other Magpie was a Crow woman who fought in the Battle of the Rosebud on the side of General Crook against the Sioux and Cheyenne. Pretty Shield, a Crow author and medicine woman, described her as being wild and attractive, but not having a man. She fought because her brother had recently been killed by the Sioux and she sought revenge against them. Most of the Crow carried rifles, but The Other Magpie carried only her belt knife and her coup stick. She counted coup on a Sioux warrior and eventually killed and scalped him. The scalp that she took was one of only eleven taken in the battle. Pretty Shield described her as having tied a feather on the end of her coup stick to symbolize her achievement. Later, she cut the scalp into pieces and gave them to the male warriors so they would have more scalps for the dance after the battle.


I would like to thank Kerrie Radford for asking for this week’s blog-thanks Kerrie