Small private raiding parties were out either to take horses or to get a scalp for revenge for the death of a friend or relative. If the main objective was horses they would sneak into camp at night. If its scalps they were after, they prefered to come across lone travelers.
It has been often said that Indians at war are a howling, unorganized mob, each man for himself. This is not true in general, and certainly not true of the Cheyennes. The tactics for battle were carefully planned by the leaders, and when faithfully carried out often resulted in success. The Cheyennes did not aim for total victory, but for glory. Set battles were therefore avoided, and the tactics were those of stealth, surprise, and maneuver. If the enemy was alerted, they withdraw and tried another time.
When the enemy camp was found for the purpose of a horse raid and circumstances were favorable, at night when the camp was asleep, they crept down and took whatever horses they could.
It was the work of the older men to go through camp, cut loose the more valuable horses which were tied in front of the lodges and lead them out. The horses taken by each man belonged to him.
When the people of the plundered camp discovered that their horses had been taken, a force of perusers set out to overtake the raiders. Sometimes they succeeded in doing this; more often they failed. Those who were driving the horses had so many fresh animals to choose from that they had the distinct advantage over those following them, each of whom had only a single horse to ride in pursuit.
Upon their return, a man who had preformed a deed of noteworthy bravery...