Retired history professor Richard Ellis will give a talk about the historical significance of the Dog Soldier Ledger Book at Pictograph Cave State Park on Saturday at 1 p.m.
The book was picked up on the Summit Springs battlefield in 1869. It provides a history of the Cheyenne Dog Soldiers between the Sand Creek Massacre in 1864 and Summit Springs in 1869. Cheyenne people assisted in identifying artists (the book is the work of multiple artists), individuals and events. Thus the publication of the ledger book draws on Cheyenne oral history and archival research.
Cheyenne mixed blood George Bent expressed the wish that a photographer had been able to capture the Dog Soldiers in all their glory, but the ledger book provides a worthy substitute for photography. It provides an accurate account of Dog Soldier history and is so accurate in details that one can identify weapons and uniform items used by soldiers such as Smith carbines and Colt revolving carbines. That evidence, combined with research in military records allows the identification of U.S. military units and specific events.