Moving Behind Woman (c.1854-1937)

Moving Behind Woman
Moving Behind Woman (better known as Mrs. Black Hawk of Hammon, Oklahoma)

NPS Photo

Moving Behind Woman, better known as Mrs. Black Hawk of Hammon, Oklahoma, was born about 1854. She had lived with the Wutapiu band of Chief Black Kettle. She was about fourteen years old at the time of the Battle of the Washita. In November 1937, shortly before her death she recounted a story from that terrible morning.

"I lived with my aunt, Corn Stalk Woman, and her family. As I remember, my aunt and her husband, Roll Down, were well acquainted with Black Kettle and his family, and used to camp near him whenever they pitched camp...We heard [the morning of November 27th] a woman saying in a low voice: 'Wake Up! Wake up! White men! White men are here! The soldiers are approaching our camp.' We became frightened, and did not know what to do. We arose at once. At that instant, the soldiers let out terrible yells, and there was a burst of gunfire from them...

In the grass we lay flat [Moving Behind Woman and her aunt Corn Stalk Woman] our hearts beating fast; and we were afraid to move...The soldiers would pass back and forth near the spot where I lay. As I turned sideways and looked, one soldier saw us, and rode toward where we lay. He stopped his horse, and stared at us. He did not say a word, and we wondered what would happen. But he left, and no one showed up after that. I suppose he pitied us, and he left us alone."


Greene, Jerome A. Washita: The U.S. Army and the Southern Cheyennes, 1867-1869.
Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2004. (pgs 128-130, 135, 204)

Hardoff, Richard. Washita memories: eyewitness views of Custer's attack on Black Kettle's village.
Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008. (pgs 323-328)

Last updated: February 5, 2018

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