Situated on the Tongue River near the mouth of Hanging Woman Creek, Birney’s history is painted with the conflict between early pioneer settlers and Cheyenne and Sioux Indians. When Cheyenne and Sioux tribes migrated in 1877 to the mouth of Otter Creek (near present-day Ashland), General Miles attacked the Native Americans, forcing the two tribes to relocate to Birney’s present-day site.
However, white settlers were unhappy with their new neighbors, so General Miles attacked again on January 7, 1877, and took four native women, three children, and one warrior captive. The Cheyenne and Sioux retaliated on January 8, 1877, and the conflict became known as the Battle of Wolf Mountain. Realizing that peace could not be won with the white settlers, the two tribes migrated to the Big Horn River, and Birney’s residents felt at ease again. Birney still exists today, and its post office has operated since December 1886.