NOVEMBER 29, 1864


Black Kettle, the local chief of a village of approximately 800 Cheyenne Indians, had approached a United States Army fort seeking protection for his people.  On November 28, 1864, he was assured that his people would safe at Sand Creek, a territory that had been promised to the Cheyenne by the 1851 Horseshoe Bend Treaty.  However, on the morning of November 29, Colonel John Chivington and the Colorado Volunteers surrounded Sand Creek.  Black Kettle raised an American flag, but Chivington told his troops “Kill and scalp all, big and little.”  They descended upon the village, killing about 400 people, mostly women and children.  Chivington’s troops committed mass scalpings and disembowelments.  Some Cheyenne were shot while trying to escape, while others were shot pleading for mercy.  When word spread to other Indian communities, it was agreed that the whites must be met by force.   In part, this led to the Dakota Wars led by Red Cloud.

Source:  “The Massacre at Sand Creek,” U.S. History.  Retrieved 7/21/2019,
Pictograph:  Howling Wolf (-- - 1927), 1875.  Public Domain in the US:  Pre-1/1/1925.  Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 80 years or less.

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