The Dog Soldiers were an elite force of the Cheyenne, waging war and policing the tribe for many years. But it was a drunken brawl that propelled them to prominence.
In the winter of 1838, Dog Soldier leader Porcupine Bear and several of his men were on a recruiting trip in Wyoming. They got into some whiskey, tempers flared, and one of the warriors was killed. The Cheyenne outlawed the society. But the Dog Soldiers used their independence to become a tight-knit band of great fighters—one the Cheyenne later called on in times of war.