As the Ojibwe worked to rid northern Minnesota of the last remnants of the Dakota Sioux, there were several pitched battles that took place. One such battle was described by Margaret Lightning of the Warroad village in a 1971 interview.
In this account it is said that the Warroad warriors were going to fight the Sioux. However, Margaret Lightning’s great-grandfather was considered too young to fight. Nonetheless he begged everyone to let him go with. Finally one of his older brothers convinced the war party to allow him join.
Eventually, the Ojibwe came upon the Sioux and the leader of the Ojibwe war party directed the warriors to strategic areas around the enemy camp. Once the fighting began, they fought for just a short period to preserve their strength, then the leader directed them to stop and run back to regroup. They eventually stopped to rest in a little valley and waited for each warrior to return.
A few men didn't return and were likely killed in the fighting. One of the men ran back to the warriors and said to the older brother, "Your younger brother is hit!" Upon hearing this, the older brother told his fellow warriors that he was going back to fight for his brother. He insisted on going alone, dressed only in a loin cloth and with the gun he got when trading furs. He ran along until he came to some Sioux Indians resting on a log. He shot at them, and they returned fire, but he was not hurt. Eventually, he found his younger brother and helped him walk back to the gathered Ojibwe warriors and safety.
Margaret said, "My grandmother's father was wounded; his brother went to fight for him. He thought he had been killed, but he found his brother wounded but still alive." He was hurt in the hip, and the Ojibwe warriors helped him walk home where the medicine man tended him. Margaret's mother remembers seeing the scars of his wound.
The wounded man's name was changed after his ordeal. He was called May-Gee-Ga-Bow, meaning "walking along" or "moving along."
Adapted from: Landin, Grace A Study of Three Chippewa Families at Rarroad, Minnesota and Their Historical and Cultural Contributions. (1972)
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