According to countrymusic.com:

"The Ballad of Ira Hayes" is a folk song, written by Peter LaFarge, and recorded by many different artists, from Bob Dylan to Pete Seeger, Townes Van Zandt and Johnny Cash among them. The version by Johnny Cash reached No. 3 on the charts, telling the true story of a Pima Indian that served in the Marine Corps in World War II, and was one of the men that raised the flag over Iwo Jima. After returning home from war, he suffered from alcoholism, which ended up claiming his life. Cash's version uses recited verses and sung choruses, with a sparse acoustic arrangement to go along with the somber song.