The Sand Creek Massacre History Essay

September 6, 2017 History

Although the American general populace in the 1860 ‘s believed that Native American Indians were nil more so savages, there are a few instances where the general populace were sympathetic to Native Americans. The Sand Creek Massacre is the most public illustration of where the United States authorities mistreated Indians, every bit good as an ideal illustration of where the populace was outraged at the handling of Indians. The Sand Creek Massacre occurred on the 29th of November 1864 42 stat mis off from Fort Lyon Colorado, on this twenty-four hours friendly Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians were attacked by a group of Colorado reserves led by a adult male called Colonel John Chivington. (, n.d. ) The Sand Creek Massacre was a hideous calamity in which many awful war offenses were committed.

Important Peoples

Colonel Chivington is one of the most outstanding figures of the Sand Creek Massacre. Colonel Chivington was the dominating officer of the Colorado Militia. Chivington was born in 1821 ; he subsequently became a Methodist curate in 1844 who preached against bondage. When the Civil War started he signed on for a active committee, in 1862 Chivington had worked his manner to the place of Major in the Colorado Volunteer Regiment. He was herald as a military hero for his function in conflict of Glorietta Pass. ( THE West, 2001 )

Tensions between Whites and Indians were nearing its flood tide in the center of Chivington political calling. He openly opposed the thought of holding peace negotiations with Native Americans. ( THE West, 2001 )

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Chivington was a known bigot, who was known to hold said “ I have come to kill Indians, and believe it is right and honest to utilize any agencies under God ‘s Eden to kill Indians. ” ( A Closer Look, 2002 ) In August of 1864, he declared that “ the Cheyenne ‘s will hold to be roundly whipped — or wholly wiped out — before they will be quiet. I say that if any of them are caught in your locality, the lone thing to make is kill them. “ A ( THE WEST, 2001 ) On November 29 of 1864 Colonel John M. Chivington lead a group of Colorado Militia of around 700-750 to assail the peaceable Cheyenne and Arapaho Indian reserve, that had about merely 500 work forces, adult females, and kids. ( Documents on the Sand Creek Massacre, 1864-1865 )

Colonel Chivington, in the question by the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War had reported that there were “ about eleven ( 11 ) or twelve ( 12 ) hundred Indians: of these about seven 100s were warriors, and the balance were adult females and kids. ” ( U.S. , Congress, House of Representatives, 1865 ) When Chivington was questioned by the Committee on the Conduct of the War about the figure of Indians killed including adult females and kids killed he responded by stating “ I judge there were five hundred or six hundred Indians killed, ” and “ From all I could larn, IA arrived at the decision that but few adult females or kids had been slain. ” ( U.S. , Congress, House of Representatives, 1865 ) However the existent Numberss are more likely around “ 105 adult females and kids and 28 work forces, every bit good as mangling the dead and wounded. ” ( A Closer Look, 2002 ) Chivington was asked for what ground did he perpetrate the onslaught and what led he believe that Black Kettle ‘s Cheyenne Indians were aggressive towards Whites. To which he replied “ My ground for doing the onslaught on the Indian cantonment was, that I believed the Indians in the cantonment were hostile to the whites.A That they were of the same folk with those who had murdered many individuals and destroyed much valuable belongings on the PlatteA and Arkansas rivers during the old spring, summer and autumn was beyond a uncertainty. ” ( U.S. , Congress, House of Representatives, 1865 ) In his testimony, Chivington was asked if he had any ground to surmise that Black Kettle and the Indians with him had been peaceable. Chivington responded by stating “ I had no ground to believe that Black Kettle and the Indians with him were in good religion at peaceA with the Whites. ” ( U.S. , Congress, House of Representatives, 1865 ) This is in fact a boldfaced prevarication because “ several informants testified that Captain Soule and LieutenantA Cramer led a big eventuality of Fort Lyon soldiers that confronted Chivington and told him that Black Kettle hadA surrendered. ” ( U.S. , Congress, House of Representatives, 1865 )

Finally Chivington was tribunal marshaled for his portion in the slaughter, nil came of it because he was no longer portion of the Army, and therefore no charges were of all time made. He did nevertheless lose his military and political power in Colorado, he moved back to Ohio where he attempted to run for a province legislative assembly place but was rapidly shut out. He so moved to Denver where he became a deputy sheriff until his decease in 1892. ( THE West, 2001 )

Black Kettle was the Chief of the Southern Cheyenne. Black Kettle lived on an tremendous country of land that reached from western Kansas to eastern Colorado which was given to the Indians on the conditions of the sign language of Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851.A ” The 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty defined district for each tribal group in order to stop intertribal competition and it permitted travellers and railway workers on the Platte River Road. ” ( “, ” )

However this pact was broken after the find of gold at Pikes Peak in 1859. Alternatively of taking the improper colonists, the U.S. authorities forced the Southern Cheyenne to subscribe a new pact give uping most of their lands, with the exclusion of the Sand Creek reserve. Even though the Sand Creek reserve was inhabit, non able to turn harvests and non near to any herds of American bison, Black Kettle was fearful of the United States Massive Military power and what would go on if they refused. Due to the deficiency of nutrient and supplies, younger male Indians started to bust colonists and waggon trains. In the spring of 1864 a Colorado Militia group attacked a group of peaceable Cheyenne Indians. This horrid incident sparked Indian rebellions all over the Great Plains part. Black Kettle cognizing that even with the Civil War traveling on the Whites still had a immensely superior military power, so in order to procure his folk endurance, Black Kettle went to Fort Weed, Colorado, where he was promised that his folk would be safe every bit long as they stayed on the Sand Creek reserve. ( Black Kettle, 2001 )

Colonel Chivington nevertheless, attacked the Sand Creek reserve, by some miracle Black Kettle and his married woman both survived the onslaught. Even holding lived though the slaughter at Sand Creek he continued to recommend peace with the U.S. After being moved to another reserve, Black Kettle signed the Medicine Lodge Treaty ofA 1867, which moved his people onto two smaller reserves in modern twenty-four hours Oklahoma. History tends to hold a manner of reiterating itself. On the 27th of November 1868, merely two yearss shy of the 4th day of remembrance. On this fatal twenty-four hours Lieutenant Colonel Custer attacked Black Kettle ‘s small town and both Black Kettle and his married woman ‘s fortune had run out and they were killed. ( Black Kettle, 2001 )

The Battle of Sand Creek

The Battle of Sand Creek, as the Rocky Mountain News called it, was stated that it was “ Among the superb efforts of weaponries in Indian warfare, the recent run of our Colorado voluntaries will stand in history with few challengers, and none to transcend it in concluding consequences. ” ( Rocky Mountain News, p.1 ) Although Colonel Chivington portrayed the onslaught on the Sand Creek reserve as a conflict in which there were, “ at the clip of the onslaught, approximately eleven ( 11 ) or twelve ( 12 ) hundred Indians: of these about seven 100s were warriors ” ( U.S. , Congress, House of Representatives, 1865 ) . However in truth there were merely about “ 500 work forces, adult females and kids ” harmonizing to John Smith in the small town. ( Smith, 1865 )

The Indians were in fact peaceable and tried to give up. When the Indians first saw the soldiers, they rushed to travel and acquire the “ United States Indian translator and particular Indian agent ” John S. Smith who was stationed in the small town in order to acquire intelligence on the Indians. “ Black Kettle ran this American flag up to the top of his Lodge, with a little white flag tied right under it, as he had been advised to make in instance he should run into with any military personnels out on the prairies. ” ( Smith, 1865 ) That is a crystal clear image of a peaceable group of Indians, the white flag of armistice or peace is a close cosmopolitan symbol. Regardless of this the soldiers attacked with heavy weapon and so pes soldiers “ swept the Creek bed, killing every Indian they could happen, frequently runing down flying kids. “ Kill them large and little, ” ” ( Smith, 1865 ) Chivington was reported stating. “ After six hours, approximately 150 Indians, a one-fourth of the cantonment ‘s population, lay dead. The soldiers took three captives, all kids. A twelve soldiers were killed, some seemingly by friendly fire in the craze. ” ( Smith, 1865 ) Much less so what Chivington who “ estimated that between three and four 100 of the barbarians got off with their lives ” , and taking into history the immense hyperbole of “ about eleven ( 11 ) or twelve ( 12 ) hundred Indians: of these about seven 100s were warriors ” at the cantonment. ( U.S. , Congress, House of Representatives, 1865 ) .


The Sand Creek Massacre was packed full with tonss of ugly atrociousnesss. The Sand Creek Massacre in itself was horrific, more adult females and kids were killed so really warriors. Out of 150 dead Indians more than 70 per centum were adult females and kids. “ Seventy dead organic structures lying at that place ; the greater part adult females and kids. There may hold been 30 warriors, old and immature ; the remainder were adult females and little kids of different ages and sizes. ” ( Smith, 1865 ) This was said by John Smith a Native American translator in his congressional testimony.

Furthermore there was monolithic mutilation to the cadavers of the asleep Indians. In John Smiths testimony he declared “ I saw the organic structures of those lying at that place cut all to pieces, worse mutilated than any I of all time saw before ; the adult females cut all to pieces. ” ( Smith, 1865 ) When asked how they were cut? Smith replied “ With knives ; scalped ; their encephalons knocked out ; kids two or three months old ; all ages lying at that place, from sucking babies up to warriors. ” ( Smith, 1865 ) Even Mr. Smith half-blooded boy was non spared, even though several officers thought that the child could be ready to hand as a transcriber and usher. ( Smith, 1865 )

Those are the more utmost, of class there was the normally spoils of war, or plundering depending on who you ask.

The Repercussions

The Sand Creek Massacre forced the United States authorities to reconsider the intervention of Native Americans. Many members of Congress started to look into the mistreatment of Indians and stated “ To keep peace with the Indian, allow the frontier colonist dainty him with humanity, and railway managers see to it that he is non shot down by employees in wanton inhuman treatment. In short, if colonists and railway work forces will handle Indians as they would handle white work forces under similar fortunes, we apprehend but small problem will be. ” ( New Directions, 1868 )

After the Sand Creek Massacre there were two major struggle class events that involved Indians happened, the Battle of Little Big Horn and the Wounded Knee Massacre.

Many people in the United States do non cognize that the Sand Creek Massacre was a major turning point in the intervention of Native Americans. This is due to the Civil War that was in full swing at this point in clip. Because of the Civil War the Indian job, this is including the intervention and the general racism against Indians, took a backseat in favour of the issue of racism towards African Americans.

The Sand Creek Massacre brought the issue of Indian mistreatment to Congresses front door.

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