Bitter Enemies

Cheyenne Warrior “The Utes and the Southern Cheyenne illustrate the bitter hatred and mortal fear that many tribes have for each other.” That was the view of Richard Irving Dodge in his 1882 book Our Wild Indians. Dodge spent many years in the West during the 1800s.
          “The Utes are a mountain tribe, the Southern Cheyenne a Plains tribe,” Dodge explained. “Any single Indian of either tribe, on his own ground, counts himself equal to at least three of the other [men of another tribe].”
          “Brave as they undoubtedly are, the Utes go upon the Plains with fear and trembling…[T]he Cheyennes will scarcely venture at all into any Ute Country…Though always at war with each other, it is rare that anybody is hurt, each being too wary to venture far into the territory of the other.”
          Dodge relates an 1874 hunting trip by “some fifteen hundred Sioux and Cheyennes. [They] went well up on the head waters of the Republican [River] in search of buffalo.”
          A few Ute warriors slipped into the [Cheyenne] hunting camp during the night. At daybreak they stampeded the hunters’ ponies. They drove “over two hundred head into the mountains.”
          According to Dodge, there were “near four times as many [Sioux and Cheyenne] warriors as are in the whole Ute tribe…” Yet, he reported that the Sioux and Cheyenne “preferred to lose their ponies to taking the risk of pursuit [into Ute territory].”

From: Our Wild Indians: Thirty-three Years of Personal Experience Among the Red Men of the Great West by Richard Irving Dodge, A.D. Worthington and Company, Hartford, CT, 1882.


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