Buffalo Calf Road Woman: The Story of a Warrior of the Little Bighorn


Winner of the Western Heritage Award for "Outstanding Western Novel" 2005 As the Cheyenne fought that June day in 1876, warrior Comes in Sight faced grave danger. His horse had been shot out from under him, and he was left stranded on the battlefield. Suddenly, a rider galloped through enemy fire, pulled Comes in Sight onto the back of her horse, and spirited him to safety. It was Buffalo Calf Road Woman—the warrior’s own sister. While white men refer to this clash as the Battle of the Rosebud, the Cheyenne know ...
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Winner of the Western Heritage Award for "Outstanding Western Novel" 2005 As the Cheyenne fought that June day in 1876, warrior Comes in Sight faced grave danger. His horse had been shot out from under him, and he was left stranded on the battlefield. Suddenly, a rider galloped through enemy fire, pulled Comes in Sight onto the back of her horse, and spirited him to safety. It was Buffalo Calf Road Woman—the warrior’s own sister. While white men refer to this clash as the Battle of the Rosebud, the Cheyenne know it as the battle, “Where the Girl Saved Her Brother.” Days later, Buffalo Calf fought at the Battle of Little Bighorn—the only woman to do so. And now a controversy is brewing over her role in that battle: Did Buffalo Calf strike the fatal blow that killed Custer?In this award-winning novel, authors Rosemary Agonito and Joseph Agonito depict the life and times of this brave young woman and the devastating effects of white man’s westward migration. Based on true events, this epic tale of love and war is an inspiring journey through one of history’s most moving sagas.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“. . . A beautifully written narrative . . . the perfect gift for Into the West junkies and all admirers of Native American culture and women’s history.” —Cowboys and Indians magazine
Rosemary and Joseph Agonito, drawn to "An intriguing reference to a Cheyenne woman fighting at the 1876 Battle of the Rosebud in Dee Brown's Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee," set out on an impressive quest that took them to libraries, museums, galleries, the National Archives (which hold the records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the War Department), secondary sources, and knowledgeable Natives over a wide area. The result of these researches is a novelization of the life of Buffalo Calf Road Woman, a story set during the horrendous Indian wars that followed the Civil War. Buffalo Calf Road Woman may have been elusive, but she was a strong woman who has been placed at quite a number of massacres and battles. Through the lens of her life, readers will gain a feeling for what life was like for the Indians as their hunting grounds were destroyed, their living area was taken over by white settlers, and their free-roaming way of life was reduced to existence on reservations. The Indians were a proud people with many enemies: the land itself with its harsh terrain and weather; other tribes; marauding soldiers; ordinary settlers, hunters, and miners; and a faraway new government, working through its Indian agents and soldiers who seemed to care little for the welfare of the Indians. "Peace! On whose terms?" is a mantra that runs through the story. This is not an especially strong novel as a novel, and the authors say they filled in blanks, but they have done so in an educated way. A useful glossary in the back of the book helps with chronology and the English names of persons referred to by Indian names in the story. KLIATT Codes: SA--Recommended for senior high school students,advanced students, and adults. 2006, Globe Pequot, Two Dot, 242p. bibliog., Ages 15 to adult.
—Edna Boardman
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762738175
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2005
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 254
  • Sales rank: 446,022
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Rosemary Agonito is the author of five books and many articles and has lectured widely on women's history and issues.

Joseph Agonito is a specialst in the Plains Indians and has been honored for his original research on Native Americans. The Agonitos have traveled extensively in the West, visiting sites of Cheyenne history depicted in this book.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1The end of the world began that day. Not slowly or quietly, not piece by piece or by degrees, but as a calamity that brings another and another and another . . . A heavy mist hung over the sleeping village wrapped in cottonwoods against the biting winter cold. As the first gray light moved uncertainly over the haze, a lone jackrabbit in the distance scuttled across the snow in search of a naked patch of yellow grass. The distant neighing of a horse in the cloistered pony herd interrupted its furtive movements. It crouched, long ears erect, listening. But the hunger of the lean winter moons soon pushed the starving animal past its fear, and it darted forward again, searching. Suddenly, out of the dense brush, leapt a coyote heavy with its burden of unborn pups, its yellowish eyes wild and full of fire. The rabbit's hind legs propelled it through the snow, swift and straight, the hot eyes tight against its back. The swollen coyote circled, pressing its desperate prey toward the distant bluffs, then fell back. The rabbit took its life and ran some more, but the grateful moment passed as quickly as it began. The coyote's mate, patient and cunning and sure, jumped from a waiting rock. The rabbit's futile flight home ended on the bloodied snows. . . .
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Table of Contents

(1) Author's Note (2) The Story of Buffalo Calf Road Woman (3) Epilogue (4) A Chronology of the Cheyenne People (5) Glossary (6) Bibliography (7) Book Group Discussion Guide (8) About the Authors
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2006

    Buffalo Calf Road Woman-A brief review

    This well written historical novel is the recipient of the highly prestigious 2006 Western Heritage award for outstanding Western novel. The authors Agonito skillfuly weave the tale of a brave and courageous woman( Buffalo Calf Road Woman) against the larger canvas of the trials, tribulations, triumphs, and tragedies of the Cheyenne. The imagery evoked as one reads the book is outstanding. You feel as though you too are there right along side the principle characters. A must read for feminists, students of history and herstory alike, as well as those who see the romance and drama of the human experience! After reading this well researched book, you will never look upon traditional American History in the same way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2006

    A tribute to the essence of Humanity

    Through this powerfully sensitive story, Rosemary and Joe Agonito provide a cultural understanding of an important moment in history. Their novel is a tribute to the essence of human kindness in sharp contrast with the, also human, forces that often betray it. I certainly hope this book becomes required reading in our schools. It is both, informative and inspiring.

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