The female warriors fighting Custer

27 March 2019

We take a look at six well known female warriors - five of whom played their part fighting the US Army in defense of their people, while one fought with the US Army.  

Buffalo Calf Road Woman 

Buffalo Calf Road Woman fought at the Battle of Rosebud and saved her brother, Chief Comes In Sight. By rescuing him she helped to rally the Cheyenne warriors to win the battle.

She was also by her husband’s side, Black Coyote, at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Buffalo Calf Road Woman was said to have struck Custer from his horse before he died.

She had two children, her husband was imprisoned for murder in 1878 and finding that she had died of Diphtheria in 1879 he hung himself.

Pretty Nose 

Pretty Nose participated at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. She was an Arapaho Chief whose people were grouped with the Cheyenne.

As a war chief she was known to be fierce and uncompromising. Pretty Nose lived until she was 101 and died in 1952, and lived to see her grandson return from the Korean War.

Native American women leaders, were invisible to the American government. With some going as far as saying the American Government were so afraid of Indian women, that they would not allow them to sit or speak in treaty councils. Even today, Indian women are conspicuous by their absence in American history.

Moving Robe Woman 

Moving Robe Woman, a Hunkpapa Sioux, fought against Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. She did this to avenge her brother, One Hawk, who had been killed by Custer's troops.

Riding out with warriors against the Reno detachment, she saw Reno and his men take flight across the river. With more soldiers coming from the opposite direction, she galloped off with the warriors to meet the new threat.

Fast Eagle claimed he held Custer's arms as Moving Robe Woman stabbed him in the back. 

There are others who also claim to have killed Custer and whether she killed him is open to question. Several officers who found Custer describe him dying from gunshot wounds. She died in 1881

Minnie Hollow Wood 

Minnie Hollow Wood was a Lakota Sioux who earned the right to wear a war bonnet because of her bravery at the Little Bighorn. This is said to be the one and only time a woman of her tribe was entitled to wear the Eagle feather bonnet in recognition of her efforts at the battle. 

Her Cheyenne husband, Hollow Wood, was also there. They both surrendered at Fort Keogh in Montana in 1877.

She died in Montana in the 1930’s while in a Cheyenne reservation.

One Who Walks with the Stars 

One Who Walks with the Stars was from the Oglala Lakota Sioux and was the wife of Crow Dog, a Brule warrior.

She killed two soldiers in the water of the river bank during the Battle of Little Bighorn.

According to survivors of the Battle, One Who Walks with the Stars was rounding up stray cavalry horses in woodland near the Brule camp.  She saw one of Custer's men crawling through the brush to reach the river, she took a piece of driftwood and clubbed him to death.

The Other Magpie 

Although not at  the Little Bighorn, The Other Magpie was a Crow woman who fought at the Battle of the Rosebud. However, she was on the US side fighting against the Sioux and Cheyenne. 

Another crow woman, Pretty Shield, described her being “wild and attractive” but without a man. Her brother was killed by the Sioux so she fought them wanting revenge.

The Other Magpie only used her knife and her coup stick. She counted coup on one of only eleven scalps taken in the battle.