Ledger Art was introduced in the 1860s after the near extinction of the Buffalo herds and the implementation of the forced relocation of the Plains peoples to reservations. These images were produced on remnant Ledger paper, and portrayed an individual’s accomplishments
The Arikara and Crow warriors enlisted as scouts for the 7th Cavalry to locate their age old enemy the Sioux and Cheyenne. Upon the location of the enemy encampment, “Custer disregarded consistent warnings from his scouts that one of the largest encampments of Indians in Plains history awaited him somewhere along the river.”Despite these warnings Custer, or “Yellow Hair” and the 7th cavalry elected to proceed and engage the enemy forces. The scouts were originally obligated only to scout and locate the enemy; they too elected to face their enemy in combat one more time.Bob Tail Bull was a noted REE (Arikara) scout with the 7th cavalry and was killed in battle June 25th 1876, during the “Battle of Little Big Horn” or commonly known as “Custer’s last stand”. Bob Tail Bull a commissioned sergeant with the 7th Cavalry led a young war party of Arikara scouts into battle against the Sioux and Cheyenne encampment in a strategic flank assault to secure the enemy horses. Gathering the ponies was an essential strategy proposed by the Ree scouts to equalizing the insurmountable numbers of enemy warriors, as the Sioux and Cheyenne warriors were skilled horseman.
Native American Scouts for military operations were practiced by many other tribes’ beside the Arikara and Crow.