Hungate Massacre

Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. His passion is travel, and he seizes any opportunity to share his experiences in the most immersive way possible, whether at sea or on the land.

Part of our in-depth series exploring the forts of Comancheria

Picture of Hungate Massacre Site
Hungate Massacre Site

11 June 1864, Parker Colorado: After Indians ran off some cattle at the Van Wormer ranch, about 30 miles southeast of Denver on Running Creek, ranch manager Nathan W. Hungate rode out to look for strays. Seeing smoke rising from the direction of the ranch, he rode back to find the house on fire and his family dead, then he was captured and killed. The perpetrators were believed to be a small band of Arapahos.

The four badly mutilated bodies were brought to Denver and put on display. Outraged Denverites, along with the city's newspaper, the Rocky Mountain News, screamed for revenge.

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