Meeting with “Old Indian Scouts,” Memorial Day, Van Hook, N.D., May 30, 1931, Col. A. B. Welch invited.

Col. Welch walks to the Cemetery with the Seven Living “Old Indian Scouts,” and addresses  Large Gatherings of Arikaras, Gros Ventre and Mandans, May 30, 1931


May 30th, 1931

Invited to speak at Van Hook this date, so was driven to Minot on the 29th where we spent the night with Frank Gage.

In the evening I met a delegation of Arikaras…Yellow Bear and Bears Belly, who is head of the Old Scouts Society at old Fort Berthold.  I promised them to be at their graveyard at 11:00 o’clock on the 30th.

We reached there at 11:30 and with the four old scouts of Custer, we marched to the grave of Chiefs White Shield and Son of the Star, which is outside of the graveyard and to the flag pole.

There the old Scouts sang a war song, naming each warrior, and I spoke to the people…many whites and all the Arikaras.  Then ate some boiled meat, bread and coffee, and then Gage and myself started for Shell Village, the site of the Gros Ventre Camp.

A very large crowd were there and I spoke.  There are seven living Old Scouts there, headed by Birds Bill and Drags Wolf, the Hidatsa Chief.  Very interesting.

Chief Drags Wolf

Then we run back the fifty miles to Dead Grass Dance Hall of the Arikaras, where we were given a tent and rested awhile until our Mandan Indian Scouts came in.  We dressed in costume and entered the dance.  The Old Scouts gave our society $2.00 to help erect hospitals, and a pair of moccasins.  We made complimentary presents and left about midnight for Mandan.