By Jean Afton
At Summit Springs, Colorado on July eleven, 1869, Maj Eugene A. Carr led the 5th usa Cavalry and a strength of Pawnee scouts in an assault on leader Tall Bull's Cheyenne puppy Soldier village. additionally well-liked within the struggle was once leader of scouts, William F. "Buffalo invoice" Cody. while the day's battling used to be over, fifty-two Cheyenne puppy infantrymen lay lifeless. On that day, too, a soldier picked up what a undeniable military ledgerbook. whilst opened, the e-book published web page upon web page of coloured drawings - all rendered through Cheyenne warrior-artists. The ebook got here to the Colorado historic Society in 1903, and there it remained for almost 100 years, mostly unknown or forgotten. previously. operating in shut organization with Cheyenne humans, the authors have produced an unheard of examine the puppy squaddies, treating those ledger drawings as ancient records - because the background of the puppy infantrymen through the warrior-artists themselves. utilizing Cheyenne assets - either prior and current - in addition to U.S. army documents, criminal depositions, diaries, and modern newspaper money owed, the authors examine drawings, opting for the soldiers and describing the activities depicted. With multiple hundred superbly reproduced colour drawings, this quantity provides not just a groundbreaking departure from normal ledgerbook interpretation but additionally a riveting tale of the Cheyenne puppy squaddies creating a final stand for his or her lifestyles as a loose humans.
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Extra info for Cheyenne Dog Soldiers: A Ledgerbook History of Coups and Combat
The next question beyond ownership concerns the date of the drawings. The ledgerbook itself is of white manufacture, typical of those produced for civilian use during the 1860s. Whether the book was first used by whites is unknown, but pages 1-8, 23-26, 71-74, 87-88, and 117-124, and 141-144 are torn out and missing. Further, the cursive inscription on page 140, "Suffering from," may predate the drawings. In any case, the book was picked up at Summit Springs by an unknown soldier on July 11, 1869.
Never before had the Cheyennes united with their allies in total war against the white invaders of their homeland. For all Cheyennes and Plains Indian peoples, this was a time worth remembering. George Bent, a Cheyenne warrior who rode with the Dog Soldiers in 1865, wished that a photographer could have captured the warriors in all their glory. For it was a time of great Cheyenne victoriesat Julesburg, in the South Platte River raids, and at Mud Springs, Platte River Bridge, and Powder River. In fact, it would have been natural for warrior-artists to record the events of these stirring times for future generations.
In the resulting assemblage of partially sewn and partially loose pages, all of them separated from the cover but sitting within it, lay the record of a number of warrior-artists whose drawings preceded the Dog Soldier defeat at Summit Springs (see page 335). Jean Afton, who first became intrigued by the ledgerbook while examining the donated materials of her husband's great-grandfather Ira LaMunyon, recognized the value of these drawings to an understanding of Cheyenne warrior life. She began a long study of the ledgerbook that included the identification of the warriors from the glyphs, or pictorial representations of warriors, attached by dotted or wavelike lines to the main Cheyenne figures in many of the drawings.