Native American Tales

Where the Girl Saved Her Brother

Where the Girl Saved Her BrotherWhere the Girl Saved Her Brother


In 1876, there were two great battles fought. One was called the Battle of Rosebud and the second, a week later, was where General Custer was defeated and killed. During the first battle a young woman took part. She saw that her brother’s horse had been taken out from under him and he would soon be surrounded by the enemy.

General Crook was leading the opposition against the Sioux and Cheyenne. It had been declared that all hostiles would be destroyed; a hostile was anyone who would not conform to the ways of the white man.

The girl’s name was Buffalo-Calf-Road-Woman. When she saw her brother in need of assistance, she gave a shrill war cry to encourage the men in battle. She rode her horse right into the fray of things singing and laughing. Others cheered her on. Buffalo-Calf-Road-Woman was able to save her brother.

General Crook thought that if the women were this fierce, what would the men be like? General Crook retreated. Buffalo-Calf-Road-Woman had counted the biggest coup of all because she had ended a battle without taking life, but giving it. The next week when General Crook was supposed to have fought alongside Custer, against the same tribes, he didn’t show up and Custer was defeated, thus Buffalo-Calf-Road-Woman also played a part in that battle as well. For this reason, the Battle of Rosebud is also known as the battle where the girl saved her brother.


I know that there were some awfully fierce battles in the battle for the West. This story mentions just two of them. I think it’s rather sad that an entire people was battled because of their ways. The battle for the West was lost by the natives. These two battles were two small victories in the entire fight. If this battle had not been won, imagine how much worse things could have been. More people would have been killed. Less traditions would have been preserved.


This young woman is said to have counted the greatest coup because she helped win a battle without taking life. She actually saved life by running into the midst of the battle. When you can do something amazing and major without any great life-loss, it is a huge win. It may be that the entire purpose of the event, such as a battle, had the entire purpose of losing life, but even so, if that purpose can be accomplished without bloodshed, isn’t that the better way?

In history, we’ve had these things called “bloodless revolutions.” These situations have happened when there has been a change of government without a lot of bloodshed. Maybe a monarchy was overthrown. Maybe the country developed an entirely new way of governing themselves, whatever it may be, the entire idea is that it was accomplished without a lot of people dying. Isn’t that always a win?

I think Buffalo-Calf-Road-Woman definitely counted the greatest coup. She was able to shorten a battle that would have ended up in a lot of people dying and save her brother at the same time. She is definitely a woman who should be honored.


Buffalo-Calf-Road-Woman is definitely a person to look up to.

Weigh In

Would you have rode into battle to save your brother?

Do you think that Buffalo-Calf-Road-Woman really played a part in the defeat of Custer?


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