THE PAINT, AN INDIAN LEGEND

As General Custer and over 250 of his men rode off into eternity, a legend was in the making. Most of the time ,we hear that the only living thing left (on the US Military side) after this battle was Comanche, ridden by Captain Myles W. Keogh. I’m sure their were wounded horses from this command that were living though probably needing to be killed later. Unknown by anyone, another horse lived from this battle.  This was the start of a generational legend by the Arikara tribe.

General Custer’s scouts were made up of the Pawnee and Arikara tribes. When the scout would use his personal horse, it was a paint for the most part. One such scout was an Arikara by the name of Little Soldier. Today a grave stone marker is at the Custer National Monument. It stands there to honor an Arikara scout.

Legend that has been passed down from generation to generation through singing, dancing and war songs. Both the Pawnee and Arikara have similar languages. They both share this legend. Actually 3 Arikara scouts died that day. Little Soldier was riding a paint horse that day. The song that was passed down was translated into English means, “Little Soldier’s spotted horse has returned home alone.” His horse had walked all the way from the battle field to the Arikara village. He arrived early one morning. He was scarred, injured and showing signs of how far he had traveled. He had a military saddle on with reins over his neck. The military used a solid piece reins. Even though Little Soldier was a scout, he used military issused equipment when he could get his hands on it. The village knew who horse he was. I’m sure this horse was given a place of honor. Nothing is known as to what happened to this paint horse after this event. His Legend was carried on though.

Just as the Seventh of General Custer’s command went off into history, so did Comanche. However, both were accompanied by a paint horse ridden by “Little Soldier”. This horse was ridden into history.

Information taken from : The American Paint Horse by Glynn W. Haynes

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