Weekly Gem #289, Where the sister saved her brother

Published 7/1/2023

Location: This hidden gem is located just west of the buffalo jump, at the Rosebud Battlefield State Park, Montana (see the Clue Me! Map).

This is the second of three posts about the Rosebud. Check out the previous, about how General Crook and his soldiers were taken by surprise, managed to recover, held the ground at the end of the battle, and declared victory. Next week we’ll explain how his Shoshone and Crow scouts saved Crook’s bacon a time or two. This week is about their opponents in this battle, mostly Lakota Sioux and Northern Cheyenne.

The Rosebud was a very unusual battle in that it lasted for 6 hours of constant fighting along a 3 mile front. Normally the warriors would launch hit and run attacks and ambushes, then quickly withdraw. But here, Crazy Horse, Two Moon, and the other chiefs knew there was nowhere left to withdraw. They rallied their warriors, and fought Crook to a standstill.

There were many episodes of bravery and luck. Here are two.

Limpy was an 18 year old Cheyenne, whose broken leg as a child didn’t heal well. Limpy was fearless, and he could ride. He joined Chief Young Two Moon and four others to attack a group of soldiers when suddenly another group of soldiers popped up on their left, putting them in a crossfire. They had some cover for the moment, but had to make a run for it. Young Two Moon said they would go one by one, making smaller targets. Limpy, the youngest, was obliged to go last. He had just started his run when his pony was struck and killed, throwing Limpy, who was able to take cover behind some rocks. But then he remembered his bridle, a gift from his uncle, and the shame of losing his bridle in battle. He ran back into the open to get that bridle!

The soldiers were closing in on Limpy. Years later he recalled “bullets were flying on top of my head.” Young Two Moon came to get him, but Limpy couldn’t jump up on the horse. Young Two Moon turned and raced back once more. This time Limpy climbed onto a rock and managed to scramble onto the pony’s back, rifle in one hand, bridle in the other. He soon took possession of a captured horse, and got back into the fight.

The Cheyenne remember this battle as “where the girl saved her brother.” This took place in “the gap,” which is between the buffalo jump (cliffs on the right) and the hill on the left. The second photo shows the gap from near the soldier’s positions, and the third shows the gap from near the buffalo jump. It resembles a golf fairway … one where there were lots of bullets flying, and no cover.

Buffalo Calf Road Woman, 28 year old mother of two, was the only female warrior at this battle. She was at the top of the gap along with quite a few other warriors, including her brother, Comes-In-Sight. During the battle, individual warriors would race down the gap toward the soldiers, getting as close as they dared while drawing fire as a demonstration of their courage, then turning around and coming back hell bent for leather up the gap to safety.  Comes-In-Sight had already charged down the gap several times, but this time his horse was shot from under him.  Comes-In-Sight was in the open, with blades of grass for cover, and well within range of the soldier's rifles. Buffalo Calf Road Woman leapt onto her pony and took off down the gap. Friend and foe alike watched as she rode past her brother and curved back around so she could be facing up the hill, then she slowed just enough for him to jump on back and they raced to safety.

Although Crook declared victory, the Cheyenne and Sioux didn’t agree. As they explained after the battle, they got hungry (having ridden all night to get there and fighting all day) and rode home for dinner.

“It was a big fight. Warriors and enemies of all sorts were there … Cheyennes, Ogalala, Miniconjous, Sans Arks, Hunkpapas, all these tribes were present, fighting together. It was a hard fight, a really big battle. I lived up to my good name and counted five coups.” ~~ White Bull, Lakota Sioux

“When the grass was tall and the horses strong, we broke camp and started across the country to the mouth of the Tongue River. Then Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse and all went up the Rosebud. There we had a big fight with General Crook and whipped him!” ~~ Two Moons, Northern Cheyenne


Here's the hidden gem entry from our Clue Me! map.


A dramatic rescue


Where the sister saved her brother

Why It's Interesting

The cavalry had Comes In Sight in their sights, on foot and in the open. Everyone on both sides was truly impressed when they saw Buffalo Calf Road Woman come flying down the draw on her pony, swing around, and take her brother out of harms way.

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