Miller has made a number of revisions to the style and composition of the preparatory sketch to arrive at this finished image for Walters. He has changed the sky from what appears to be streaks of rain and gray clouds in Blackfeet on the Warpath (CR# 383) to a pink and blue sunset with clearly articulated clouds. He has also added considerably more detail to the middle ground by defining the grass as a hillside and locating more riders slightly below the primary grouping. Finally, he has changed the hairstyle of the main figure, removing the forelock typical of the Plains and giving the figure a generic, loose style with hair ornament and a small queue.
His accompanying note describes the Blackfeet as having, “the worst reputation for war and aggression of all the Indians of the North-West.” The Blackfeet were allied enemies of the fur traders, but Miller’s focus on them in this period may also have stemmed from the greater publicity the tribe had received in the wake of treaty negotiations in the early fifties, as well as a series of paintings and panoramas depicting the Blackfeet by rival artist John Mix Stanley.