The introductory paragraph pasted into the book was probably
typed by Colonel Bliss on his personal typewriter. A portion
of his five volume memoirs was reportedly typed while he was
posted to Fort Supply living in the extant Commanding Officer's
Quarters. Major John Dunlop, to whom the drawings were sent,
has not yet been found in official military records. He was
probably an old friend of Bliss's, perhaps from the Civil War,
who visited him at Fort Supply.
Gilmore and White Man find antelope. Capt. Gilmore and the scout
have stalked two pronghorn antelope. Gilmore is dressed in civilian
hunting clothes and cavalry boots. He is sporting a Springfield
rifle as opposed to the scout's carbine, as indicated by the
two bands on the barrel. White Man is wearing the canvas sack
coat adopted in 1884. However, the artist has neglected to color
the six hard, black rubber buttons. These coats were intended
for work details but were also worn in the field, especially
in warm climates.
checks on a deer. The scout Bob has dismounted to check a dropped
deer for life, or to symbolically touch an animal he has downed
to "count coup." His saddle is the only one in the
drawings that appears to have a horn on the pommel. The fenders
and hooded stirrups indicate that it is a McClellan. All of
the scouts would likely have been issued the same saddle. If
it does have a horn, it would probably have been the regulation
mule driver's saddle used by teamsters and packers.
takes a big risk. There must have been a good story associated
with this picture. It is difficult to determine if the scout
is fending off the skunk or clubbing him with his carbine. Either
way is not an appropriate use for the weapon. The skunk's tail
is raised in readiness for spraying.
kneels to aim. Nibbs is aiming at an unidentified animal with
claws and a long tail, perhaps a wolf. He has on the mounted
trousers with the NCO stripe but no chevrons on his coat. This
was not uncommon practice for the NCO of the period.
wounds a buck. Nibbs is shown in somewhat different dress in
each of the three drawings in which he is depicted, implying
three separate days or hunts. This drawing may be by a different
artist, who attempted to emulate Squint Eye's kneeling figures
but with less assurance of hand.
Leather finds two antelope. Although dressed in standard
issue, Sole Leather's hair does not appear to be regulation
Sachta takes aim. The private has a buck lying down on a rise
in front of him.
Man finds two turkeys. The scout has the brown canvas fatigue
coat and wears his hair long.
Eye is shooting turkeys out of a roost, which was a common practice
during the period when gathering food was often more important
Skunk and White Bird bring down a deer. Both scouts were evidently
involved in bringing down this deer, which shows three wounds.
Both men are dressed in the same manner as most of the other
scouts in the field.
Wolf gets a deer. The mounted scout has shot a deer. He
on the black Bracher ventilated hat and canvas sack coat. His
belt is shown as black rather than the more popular light-colored
woven cartridge belt.
Man has downed a deer. The scout appears here in the dark blue
uniform coat, instead of the canvas fatigue coat of another
Dog drops a deer. The scout, dressed in standard issue clothing,
has dropped a deer with two shots.
shoots a deer. The scout has on the dark coat and the canvas
Eye gets a bear. The
artist shows himself having dismounted from his horse and shot
a black bear in the flank. He wears the black U.S. Army fatigue
hat adopted in 1876 or the later model from 1882. The light
area in the crown of the hat indicates the Bracher ventilator,
a 2" diameter brass device to allow air movement in the
hat crown (McChristian 1995:165-166).
Man and an officer after turkey. The annotator was uncertain
whether this picture represented Curtis Gilmore or "Zinnie"
(Z.W. Bliss), although Gilmore wears this costume in other drawings.
The scout is wearing the 1881-84 pattern caped greatcoat with
cavalry yellow lining and three brass buttons. The light toned
belt may also be a leather variation of the cartridge belt,
but the absence of cartridge loops makes it difficult to determine.
His trousers indicate an NCO rank, but no record has been found
of promotion to that rank. He is apparently wearing shoes instead
of cavalry boots as the belled pant legs are over the tops of
and Osage meet over a deer. The image is unique in that the
prey, the deer, is between two hunters. Orange appears to be
counting coup (to claim?) the wounded animal. Osage has firm
hold on one hind leg. Osage's cartridge belt is buckled with
an "H "plate buckle common to the woven belts.