The remarkable story of a young Cheyenne warrior woman in her early twenties, Buffalo Calf Road, spans a period of 3 years from 1876 until her death in 1879. During this time the Cheyenne were caught in the westward expansion of pioneers, miners and the army, all determined to colonize the land on the great plains occupied by native peoples.
The Cheyenne and other native tribes endured attacks, massacres and forced removals to reservations.
It is not known how she acquired her skill with a gun, but Buffalo Calf Road first rose to prominence among her people at the Battle of the Rosebud. Since General Crook and his men were seen advancing toward their village, warriors prepared to ride out to stop them.
Determined to help save her people, Buffalo Calf Road decided to ride with the warriors despite some opposition to a woman doing so. As the battle raged, she fought bravely.
At one point she spotted her brother, Comes In Sight, in a gully below, trapped by soldiers closing in. Immediately, Calf rode down into the gully amidst the flying bullets and, in an amazing rescue, pulled her brother onto her horse and out of the gully to safety.
Those warriors observing the scene were greatly impressed, since they themselves had hesitated, thinking the situation too impossible to save Comes In Sight. Victorious, her people named the battle for her, The Battle Where the Girl Saved Her Brother, and called her Brave Woman.
A week later, General George Armstrong Custer led his troops against an encampment of Cheyenne, Lakota and other tribes camped along the Little Bighorn River.
Buffalo Calf Road again joined the warriors and fought bravely for her people, the only woman to do so.
During the battle, she rescued a young warrior who lost his horse. Again victorious, the tribes regrouped, each going their own way.
Five months later, the Cheyenne village was viciously attacked again by soldiers in the early morning hours.
When it was over, more than 40 Cheyenne lay dead, many wounded, and the village burned to the ground. Forced to flee again, this time without blankets, adequate clothing or food, Buffalo Calf Road and her people made their way through a freezing, blinding snowstorm that descended on them.
That first night in the icy cold, eleven babies froze to death.