Sand Creek Massacre, 1864
Picture of Sand Creek Massacre Site from the book,
Encyclopedia of Indian Wars, by Gregory F. Michno.
In response to the Cheyenne uprising during the summer of 1864, Major
Edward W. Wynkoop, the Fort Lyon commander, led an expedition to the
Cheyenne villages on the Republican River in an effort to persuade Black
Kettle and six other chiefs to accompany him to Denver for peace talks.
There the chiefs were assured by Colonel John M. Chivington, commanding
officer of the Military District of Colorado, that they would be protected
if they took their people to Fort Lyon. Although Black Kettle led his
small band there, most of the Cheyennes remained in camp on the Republican
with the Dog Soldiers. Black Kettle reached Fort Lyon to find Wynkoop
had been relieved of his command for his pacifist policies towards the
Indians. The new commander, Major Scott J. Anthony, informed him that
there would be no food for the Indians and directed him to a bend in
Sand Creek about thirty miles north of the fort where his men could
hunt. Anthony gave assurances that they would be safe from the army
there as this was on land assigned to the Cheyenne by the Treaty of
Fort Wise in 1861.
Lt. Col. John M. Chivington
In mid-November, Chivington took the Colorado Third
from Denver to Fort Lyon where he was reinforced by the First Colorado
and then north to the Cheyenne village on Sand Creek, where an American
flag flew above Black Kettle's teepee. At sunrise on November 29, Chivington
launched an attack on the sleeping Cheyenne encampment slaughtering
all his cavalry could run down. Black Kettle and his wife escaped but
others were not so lucky. Although Chivington boasted of a great victory
the reaction of not only the Plains Indians, but the American public
as well, made the Sand Creek Massacre a symbol of the white man's duplicity.
Picture of Cheyenne and Arapaho chiefs from the book, Encyclopedia of Indian Wars, by Gregory F. Michno. From left to right top row, chiefs Bosse, Notanee, Heap of Buffalo: bottom, Bull Bear, Black Kettle, Neva and White Antelope
The following is from the book, Indian Wars, by Robert M. Utley and Wilcomb E. Washburn.