The Sand Creek Massacre
Report of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War
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Papers submitted by Hon. H. P. Bennet, delegate in Congress from Colorado Territory.

WASHINGTON CITY, March 20, 1865.
SIR: I am compelled to leave to-night for New York, to be gone several days, and it will likely be impossible for me to appear before
the committee at all. But, as you requested, I will furnish the committee with such official and unofficial documents as I have
touching upon the "Sand creek affair."
Herewith enclosed please find the official reports of all the principal officers engaged in the transaction; also, a copy of Governor
Evans's proclamation, after which the one-hundred-day regiment was raised; also, some slips cut from the "Rocky Mountain News,"
the organ of Governor Evans, and edited by the postmaster at Denver; also, find an extract from Secretary Elbert's message made to
the legislature and published in the "Rocky Mountain News." All the foregoing papers I believe to be genuine copies of what they
purport to be.
Very respectfully,
Hon. Mr. Gooch.

Proclamation by Governor Evans, of Colorado Territory.


Having sent special messengers to the Indians of the plains, directing the friendly to rendezvous at Fort Lyon, Fort Larned, Fort
Laramie, and Camp Collins for safety and protection, warning them that all hostile Indians would be pursued and destroyed, and
the last of said messengers having now returned, and the evidence being conclusive that most of the Indian tribes of the plains are
at war and hostile to the whites, and having to the utmost of my ability endeavored to induce all of the Indians of the plains to come
to said places of rendezvous, promising them subsistence and protection, which, with a few exceptions, they have refused to do:
Now, therefore, I, John Evans, governor of Colorado Territory, do issue this my proclamation, authorizing all citizens of Colorado,
either individually or in such parties as they may organize, to go in pursuit of all hostile Indians on the plains, scrupulously avoiding
those who have responded to my said call to rendezvous at the points indicated; also, to kill and destroy, as enemies of the country,
wherever they may be found, all such hostile Indians. And further, as the only reward I am authorized to offer for such services, I
hereby empower such citizens, or parties of citizens, to take captive, and hold to their own private use and benefit, all the property of
said hostile Indians that they may capture, and to receive for all stolen property recovered from said Indians such reward as may be
deemed proper and just therefor.
I further offer to all such parties as will organize under the militia law of the Territory for the purpose to furnish them arms and
ammunition, and to present their accounts for pay as regular soldiers for themselves, their horses, their subsistence, and
transportation, to Congress, under the assurance of the department commander that they will be paid.
The conflict is upon us, and all good citizens are called upon to do their duty for the defence of their homes and families.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the great seal of the Territory of Colorado to be affixed this 11th day
of August, A. D. 1864.

By the governor:
S. H. ELBERT, Secretary of Colorado Territory.

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First report of Colonel Chivington.


In the field, on Big Bend of Sandy Creek, Col. Ter., Nov. 29, 1864.
SIR: I have not the time to give you a detailed history of our engagement of to-day, or to mention those officers and men who
distinguished themselves in one of the most bloody Indian battles ever fought on these plains. You will find enclosed the report of
my surgeon in charge, which will bring to many anxious friends the sad fate of loved ones who are and have been risking everything
to avenge the horrid deeds of those savages we have so severely handled. We made a forced march of forty miles, and surprised,
at break of day, one of the most powerful villages of the Cheyenne nation, and captured over five hundred animals; killing the
celebrated chiefs One Eye, White Antelope, Knock Knee, Black Kettle, and Little Robe, with about five hundred of their people,
destroying all their lodges and equipage, making almost an annihilation of the entire tribe.
I shall leave here, as soon as I can see our wounded safely on the way to the hospital at Fort Lyon, for the villages of the Sioux,
which are reported about eighty miles from here, on the Smoky Hill, and three thousand strong; so look out for more fighting. I will
state, for the consideration of gentlemen who are opposed to fighting these red scoundrels, that I was shown, by my chief surgeon,
the scalp of a white man taken from the lodge of one of the chiefs, which could not have been more than two or three days taken;
and I could mention many more things to show how these Indians, who have been drawing government rations at Fort Lyon, are
and have been acting.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Col. Comd'g Colorado Expedition against Indians on Plains.
Headquarters District of Colorado, Denver.

Second report of Colonel Chivington.

Denver, C. T., December 16, 1864.

GENERAL: I have the honor to transmit the following report of operations of the Indian expedition under my command, of which brief
notice was given you by my telegram of November 29, 1864:
Having ascertained that the hostile Indians had proceeded south from the Platte, and were almost within striking distance of Fort
Lyon, I ordered Colonel Geo. L. Shoup, 3d regiment Colorado volunteer cavalry, (100-day service,) to proceed with the mounted men
of his regiment in that direction.
On the 20th of November I left Denver and Booneville, C. T.; on the 24th of November joined and took command in person of the
expedition which had been increased by a battalion of the 1st cavalry of Colorado, consisting of detachments of companies C, E
and H. I proceeded with the utmost caution down the Arkansas river, and on the morning of the 28th instant arrived at Fort Lyon, to
the surprise of the garrison of that post. On the same morning I resumed my march, being joined by Major Scott J. Anthony, 1st
cavalry of Colorado, with one hundred and twenty-five men of said regiment, consisting of detachments of companies D, G and H,
with two howitzers. The command

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then proceeded in a northeasterly direction, travelling all night, and at daylight of the 29th November striking Sand creek about forty
(40) miles from Fort Lyon.
Here was discovered an Indian village of one hundred and thirty (130) lodges, composed of Black Kettle's band of Cheyennes and
eight (8) lodges of Arapahoes, with Left Hand. My line of battle was formed with Lieutenant Wilson's battalion of the 1st regiment,
numbering about 125 men, on the right, Colonel Shoup's 3d regiment, numbering about 450 men, in the centre, and Major
Anthony's battalion, numbering 125 men, 1st regiment, on the left.
The attack was immediately made upon the Indian's camp by Lieutenant Wilson, who dashed forward, cutting the enemy off from
their herd, and driving them out of their camp, which was subsequently destroyed.
The Indians, numbering from 900 to 1,000, though taken by surprise, speedily rallied and formed a line of battle across the creek,
about three-fourths of a mile above the village, stubbornly contesting every inch of ground.
The commands of Colonel Shoup and Major Anthony pressed rapidly forward and attacked the enemy sharply, and the engagement
became general, we constantly driving the Indians, who fell back from one position to another for five miles, and finally abandoned
resistance and dispersed in all directions and were pursued by my troops until nightfall.
It may, perhaps; be unnecessary for me to state that I captured no prisoners. Between five and six hundred Indians were left dead
upon the field. About five hundred and fifty ponies, mules and horses were captured, and all their lodges were destroyed, the
contents of which has served to supply the command with an abundance of trophies, comprising the paraphernalia of Indian
warfare and life. My loss was eight (8) killed on the field and forty (40) wounded, of which two have since died. Of the conduct of the
3d regiment (100-day service) I have to say that they well sustained the reputation of our Colorado troops for bravery and
effectiveness; were well commanded by their gallant young Colonel, Geo. L. Shoup, ably assisted by Lieutenant Colonel L. L.
Bowen, Major Hal Sayre and Captain Theodore G. Cree, commanding 1st, 2d and 3d battalions of that regiment.
Of the conduct of the two battalions of the 1st regiment I have but to remark that they sustained their reputation as second to none,
and were ably handled by their commanders, Major Anthony, Lieutenant Wilson and Lieutenant Clark Dunn, upon whom the
command devolved after the disability of Lieutenant Wilson from wounds received.
Night coming on, the pursuit of the flying Indians was of necessity abandoned, and my command encamped within sight of the field.
On the 1st instant, having sent the wounded and dead to Fort Lyon, the first to be cared for, and the latter to be buried upon our own
soil. I resumed the pursuit in the direction of Camp Wynkoop on the Arkansas river, marching all night of the 3d and 4th instant, in
hopes of overtaking a large encampment of Arapahoes and Cheyennes, under Little Raven, but the enemy had been apprized of my
advance, and on the morning of the 5th instant, at 3 o'clock, precipitately broke camp and fled. My stock was exhausted. For one
hundred miles the snow had been two feet deep, and for the previous fifteen days--excepting on November 29 and 30--the marches
had been forced and incessant.
Under these circumstances, and the fact of the time of the 3d regiment being nearly out, I determined for the present to relinquish
the pursuit. Of the effect of the punishment sustained by the Indians you will be the judge. Their chiefs Black Kettle, White Antelope,
One Eye, Knock Knee, and Little Robe, were numbered with the killed and their bands almost annihilated. I was shown the scalp of
a white man, found in one of the lodges, which could not have been taken more than two or three days previous. For full particulars
and reports of the several commanders I respectfully refer you to the following copies
Part VI------4

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herewith enclosed, of Colonel George L. Shoup, 3d regiment, December 6, 1864; Colonel Shoup, 3d regiment, December 7, 1864;
Colonel L. L. Bowen, 3d regiment, November 30, 1864; Major Hal Sayr, 3d regiment, December 6, 1864; Captain Theodore G. Cree,
3d regiment, December 6, 1864; Major Scott J. Anthony, 1st regiment, December 1, 1864; Lieutenant Clark Dunn, 1st regiment,
November 30, 1864; Lieutenant J. J. Kennedy, November 30, 1864.
If all the companies of the 1st cavalry of Colorado and the 11th Ohio volunteer cavalry, stationed at camps and posts near here,
were ordered to report to me, I could organize a campaign, which, in my judgment, would effectually rid the country between the
Platte and Arkansas rivers of these red rebels.
I would respectfully request to be informed, if another campaign should be authorized from here, whether I could employ one or two
hundred friendly Utes, (Indians,) furnishing them subsistence, arms and ammunition for the campaign.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Col. 1st Cavalry of Colorado, Commanding District of Colorado.

First report of Colonel Shoup.

In field, 100 miles below Fort Lyon, December 6, 1864.

CAPTAIN: In answer to your communication of this date, asking me to consult with the officers of my regiment, and report their
opinion as to the propriety and willingness of themselves and the enlisted men under my command to continue this expedition
against the Indians to the Smoky Hill and Republican, I have to say--
My "officers and men" will obey orders and go to the Smoky Hill and Republican, if the colonel commanding, after due deliberation,
will so order. However, they are nearly all of the opinion, (the officers,) that an expedition to the above named streams at present
must fail. This opinion is based upon the fact that their horses are worn out, and in an unserviceable condition; most of the animals
would fail on the first forced march.
They are of the further opinion that many of these men will re-enlist to prosecute this campaign if we meet with no reverse and the
men are not worn out and disheartened in a fruitless march just before the expiration of their term of enlistment.
All the above is fully indorsed by me; and while I am more than eager to duplicate the great victory of November 29, I think an
expedition to the Smoky Hill and Republican, considering the worn-out condition of my horses, would prove more of a disaster than
a success, at present; the failure of which would so dishearten my men, that no inducement could be held out that would cause
them to re-enlist. All of which is most respectfully submitted.
Colonel 3d Colorado Cavalry.
Captain J. S. MAYNARD,
A. A. A. General, District of Colorado, in the field.

Second report of Colonel Shoup.

In the field, December 7, 1864.

DEAR SIR: I have the honor to report the part taken by my regiment, 3d Colorado cavalry, in the engagement with the Indians on
Sand creek, forty (40) miles north of Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, November 29, 1864.

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I brought my regiment into action at sunrise. The first order given was to Captain John McCannon, company I, to cut off the Indians
from their ponies on the south side of the village; this order was obeyed with great celerity and success. Captain McCannon
captured about two hundred (200) ponies at the first dash, but being closely pressed by hundreds of Indians, sent the ponies to the
rear, and opened a terrible and withering fire on the Indians, completely checking them, killing many, and causing them to retreat up
Sand creek.
Captain O. H. P. Baxter, with his company G, was sent to re-enforce Captain McCannon. The two companies then fought the Indians
up the south side of the creek for about two (2) miles, and at this point many of the Indians took refuge in the banks of the creek,
where they had prepared rifle-pits. Captain McCannon, with his company, remained at that place until late in the afternoon, and was
the last to leave the field of battle. His brave company killed twenty-six (26) Indians in one pit, and must have killed fifty (50) or more
during the engagement. Company G, led by Captain Baxter and Lieutenant Templeton, pursued the demoralized and flying savages
to the south and west, killing upwards of twenty Indians. Lieutenant W. E. Grinnell, with a detachment of 21 men of company K,
fought during part of the engagement on the southwest side of the battle-field. This brave little detachment deserve honorable
mention for their gallant conduct on the field. They lost one-fifth of their number, killed and wounded. At the opening of the
engagement I led about four hundred (400) of my men up the north side of the creek and engaged the main body of the Indians,
who were retreating to the west. I dismounted my men and fought them for some time on foot.
At this point Captain Talbott, of company M, fell severely wounded, while bravely leading his men in a charge on a body of Indians
who had taken refuge on the banks on the north side of the creek. Here a terrible hand-to-hand encounter ensued between the
Indians and Captain Talbott's men and others who had rushed forward to their aid--the Indians trying to secure the scalp of Captain
Talbott. I think the hardest fighting of the day occurred at that point, some of our men fighting with club muskets; the 1st and 3d
Coloradoans fighting side by side, each trying to excel in bravery, and each ambitious to kill at least one Indian. Many valuable lives
of officers and men were saved by the bravery of others just as the fatal knife was raised to perform its work of death. Early in the
engagement, Captain Nickols, with his company D, pursued a band of Indians that were trying to escape to the northeast; he
overtook and punished them severely, killing twenty-five or thirty and captured some ponies.
Other companies of my regiment fought with zeal and bravery, but after 10 o'clock a. m. the battle became so general and covered
so wide a field that it became necessary to divide my command into small detachments, sending them in all directions to pursue
the flying Indians.
I am told by my officers and men that some of their comrades engaged the Indians in close combat. I am satisfied, from my own
observation, that the historian will search in vain for braver deeds than were committed on that field of battle.
My loss is nine (9) men killed, one missing, supposed to be killed, and forty-four (44) wounded.
Captain Presley Talbott and Lieutenant C. H. Hawley are the only officers wounded of my regiment; Captain Talbott in left side, and
Lieutenant Hawley in shoulder.
Enclosed herewith you will find copy of the reports of my battalion commanders to me. All of which is most respectfully submitted.
I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,
Colonel 3d Colorado Cavalry.
Colonel J. M. CHIVINGTON, Commanding District of Colorado.

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Report of Lieutenant Colonel Bowen.

SANDY CREEK, November 30, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to enclose you the reports of the company commanders of the first battalion, commanded by myself, in the
action of yesterday. I fully indorse all contained in these reports; all behaved well, each vieing with the other as to who could do the
enemy the most injury. This, I think, can truly be said of the whole regiment. I was in position during the action to see most of the
regiment, and did not see one coward. Permit me to congratulate you upon the signal punishment meted out to the savages on
yesterday, "who so ruthlessly have murdered our women and children," in the language of the colonel commanding, although I
regret the loss of so many brave men. The third regiment cannot any longer be called the "bloodless third."
From the most reliable information, from actual count and positions occupied, I have no doubt that at least one hundred and fifty
Indians were killed by my battalion.
I cannot speak in terms of too high praise of all the officers and men under my command.
The war flag of this band of Cheyennes is in my possession, presented by Stephen Decatur, commissary sergeant of company C,
who acted as my battalion adjutant.
Very respectfully,
Lieut. Col. 3d Colorado Cavalry, Commanding 1st Battalion.
Third Regiment Colorado Cavalry.

Report of Major Sayr.

CAMP ________, December 6, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my battalion in the action of November 29, on Sand creek.
The battalion consisted of company B, Captain H. M. Orahood, First Lieutenant Charles H. Hawley, Second Lieutenant Harry
Richmond, and sixty-four men; company I, Captain John McCannon, First Lieutenant Thomas J. Davis, and fifty-three men; company
G, Captain O. H. P. Baxter, Second Lieutenant A. J. Templeton, and forty men; company K, Lieutenant W. E. Grinnell, and twenty-one
men; making a total of 178 men. Company I was sent at the beginning of the action to the west of the field, where they remained
during the day, much of the time sustaining a heavy fire from the enemy, who were secreted under a high bank, on the south side of
Sand creek. This company did good service in preventing the escape of the Indians to the west. Companies B, G, and K, moved
across the creek and went into the action on the north side of the creek, and west of the Indian town, where they remained for
several hours, doing good service, while under a heavy fire from the enemy, who were concealed in rifle-pits in the bed of the creek.
The action became general, and lasted from 6.30 a. m. until 1 p. m., when the companies divided into small squads and went in
pursuit of the Indians, who were now flying in every direction across the plains, and were pursued until dark.
Both officers and men conducted themselves bravely. The number of Indians killed by the battalion, as estimated by company
commanders, is about 175 to

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200. Company B, Lieutenant Hawley, wounded in shoulder; private Marrion wounded in thigh; company I, three killed and three
wounded; company G, none killed or wounded; company K, two killed and two wounded; making a total of five killed and seven

Hoping the above will meet your approval, I am, colonel, very respectfully, &c.,
Major Commanding, 2d Battalion, 3d Colorado Cavalry.
Commanding Third Colorado Cavalry.

Report of Captain Cree.

CAMP SKEDADDLE, December 6, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to report to you the part taken by the third battalion in the fight of the 29th of November. They first formed on the
left of the regiment, in the rear of the village, then removed upon the right bank of the creek, near one-half mile; there dismounted
and fought the red-skins about an hour, where the boys behaved like veterans.
After finding that we had done all the good that we could do there, removed companies D and E, (company F having gone with
Colonel Bowen's battalion,) and moved to the right, across the hill, for the purpose of killing Indians that were making their escape
to the right of the command, in which movement we succeeded in killing many. I then made a detail from company D, of fifteen (15)
men, and sent them to capture some twenty (20) ponies, which I could see some four (4) miles to the right of the village; but before
they reached the ponies some twenty Indians attacked them, when a fierce fight ensued, in which private McFarland was killed in a
hand-to-hand engagement; but, like true soldiers, they stood their ground, killing five (5) Indians, and wounding several others.
The Indians finding it rather warm to be healthy, left. The boys pursued them some eight or ten miles, and finding that they could not
overtake them, returned, bringing with them the ponies they were sent for. I then returned with the command to the village to take
care of their killed and wounded companions.
Company E lost one killed and one wounded; company D, two killed and one wounded.
As for the bravery displayed by any one in particular, I have no distinctions to make. All I can say for officers and men is, that they all
behaved well, and won for themselves a name that will be remembered for ages to come.
The number of Indians killed by my battalion is sixty (60.)
I am, colonel, yours truly,
Captain Commanding 3d Battalion, 3d Colorado Cavalry.

Report of Major Anthony.

Battalion First Colorado Cavalry, December 1, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to report that I left Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, with detachments from companies D, G, and H, 1st Colorado
cavalry, numbering one hundred and twenty-five men, and two howitzers, and joined Colonel Chivington's brigade one mile below
Fort Lyon, at 8 o'clock p. m., November 28, and proceeded with his command, on Indian expedition, in a northeasterly direction,
striking Sand creek at daylight of the 29th November, forty miles from

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Fort Lyon, when we came upon a herd of Indian horses, and I was sent forward with my battalion to capture stock. After proceeding
about one mile we came in sight of an Indian camp, some two miles further. I immediately sent word to the colonel commanding
that an Indian camp was in sight, and proceeded with my command in the direction of the camp, which I reached just before
sunrise. I found Lieutenant Wilson, with a detachment of 1st Colorado cavalry, upon the right and south of the camp, and Lieutenant
Dunn, with a detachment of the 1st Colorado cavalry, posted upon the west bank of Sand creek, and opposite the camp, both
commands keeping up a brisk fire upon the camp. Upon my nearing the camp upon the west side I was attacked by a small force of
Indians posted behind the bank of the creek, who commenced firing upon me with arrows, and who had collected on the opposite
side of camp. Colonel Chivington coming up at this time with Colonel Shoup's regiment, 3d Colorado cavalry, and two howitzers,
charged through the camp, driving the Indians completely out of their camp and into the creek, in holes or rifle-pits dug in the sand.
The fighting now became general. The Indians fought desperately, apparently resolved to die upon that ground, but to injure us as
much as possible before being killed. We fought them for about six hours, along the creek for five miles.
The loss to my command was one killed and three wounded. The loss to the entire command, ten killed and forty wounded.
Lieutenant Baldwin, commanding the section of howitzers, attached to my battalion, had a fine private horse shot from under him.
Seven horses were killed from my command. The loss to the Indians was, about three hundred killed, some six hundred ponies,
and one hundred and thirty lodges, with a large quantity of buffalo robes, and their entire camp equipage.
The camp proved to be Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians, and numbered about 1,100 persons, under the leadership of Black Kettle,
head chief of the Cheyenne tribe. Black Kettle and three other chiefs were killed.
All the command fought well, and observed all orders given them. We camped upon the ground occupied by the Indians the day
before, destroyed the entire camp of the Indians, and then pushed rapidly in a southeasterly direction, in pursuit of Little Raven's
camp of Arapahoes, reported to be on the Arkansas river.
I am, sir, with much respect, your obedient servant,
Major First Colorado Cavalry, Commanding Battalion.
A. A. A. General Colonel CHIVINGTON'S
Brigade, Indian Expedition.

Report of Lieutenant Kennedy.

Camp, South Bend of Big Sandy, November 30, 1864.
COLONEL: I have the honor to make the following report of company C, 1st cavalry of Colorado, on the expedition against the
Cheyenne Indians, in pursuance of special orders from headquarters, district of Colorado, No. 132, of November 13, 1864.
I left camp Wheeler, Colorado Territory, on the 20th of November, 1864, with forty-two men of company C, 1st cavalry of Colorado, en
route for Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, a distance of two hundred and forty miles, at which place I arrived on the 28th of November,
1864. I left Fort Lyon at eight (8) o'clock p. m the same day, with thirty-five (35) men of C company, under command of First
Lieutenant Luther Wilson, commanding battalion 1st cavalry

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of Colorado, made a march of forty miles to South Bend of Big Sandy, Colorado Territory, at which place I arrived a little after
daybreak on the morning of the 29th, where we came upon a large village of hostile Cheyenne Indians, numbering from nine
hundred to one thousand, which we immediately attacked; after which a general engagement ensued, which lasted until 3 o'clock p.
m., in which the Indians were defeated and nearly annihilated; after which we returned to the Indian village, which we helped to
destroy, and then went into camp.
I had one private, Oliver Pierson, mortally wounded, (who has since died;) two privates, August Mettze and John B. Calhoun,
severely wounded; Sergeant M. H. Linnell, saddler Elias South, and privates C. J. Ballon and William Boyls, slightly wounded. And I
would most respectfully acknowledge to the colonel commanding the services rendered by my platoon commanders, sergeant
John C. Turner and M. H. Linnell, and recommend them for their bravery during the entire engagement.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Second Lieut. 1st Colorado Cavalry, Commanding Co. C.
Commanding Indian Expedition.

Report of Lieutenant Dunn.

Camp South Bend of Big Sandy, C. T., November 30, 1864.

COLONEL: I have the honor to make the following report of company E, 1st cavalry of Colorado, on an expedition against Indians.
On the 25th instant I left Camp Fillmore with my company, pursuant to Special Order No. 3, headquarters, District of Colorado, dated
in the field November 23, 1864. I joined the column then in the field the same evening at Spring Bottom, thirty miles distant. I
continued the march the next day under command of Lieutenant Wilson, commanding battalion of the 1st cavalry of Colorado. We
reached Fort Lyon, seventy miles further down the Arkansas, on the 28th instant, about noon. About 7 o'clock the same evening I
started from that place with eighteen men of my company, taking three days' cooked rations on our horses, and travelled in a
northeasterly course. At daylight we came in sight of a large village of hostile Indians, Cheyennes and Arapahoes, numbering nine
hundred or one thousand, nearly two miles north of us. We immediately proceeded to the attack by moving down a small ravine and
making a charge on the village from the north side, taking the Indians completely by surprise. They rallied immediately and the
engagement became general, and lasted till afternoon, when they were utterly routed and half their number left dead on the field.
We continued the pursuit till 3 o'clock p. m., when our horses being much fatigued, and our ammunition nearly exhausted, we
returned to the village, which we helped to destroy, and then went into camp for the night.
I lost no men killed, and but two wounded. Sergeant Jackson had his hip broken, and private Mull was shot through the leg.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Second Lieut. 1st Colorado Cavalry, Commanding Co. E.
First Colorado Cavalry.

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Editorial articles from the Rocky Mountain News, the organ of Governor Evans, and edited by Mr. William N. Byers, P. M. at Denver.


Among the brilliant feats of arms in Indian warfare, the recent campaign of our Colorado volunteers will stand in history with few
rivals, and none to exceed it in final results. We are not prepared to write its history, which can only be done by some one who
accompanied the expedition, but we have gathered from those who participated in it, and from others who were in that part of the
country, some facts which will doubtless interest many of our readers.
The people of Colorado are well aware of the situation occupied by the third regiment during the great snow-storm which set in the
last of October. Their rendezvous was in Bijou Basin, about eighty miles southeast of this city, and close up under the foot of the
Divide. That point had been selected as the base for an Indian campaign. Many of the companies reached it after the storm set in;
marching for days through the driving, blinding clouds of snow and deep drifts. Once there, they were exposed for weeks to an Arctic
climate, surrounded by a treeless plain covered three feet deep with snow. Their animals suffered for food and with cold, and the
men fared but little better. They were insufficiently supplied with tents and blankets, and their sufferings were intense. At the end of a
month the snow had settled to the depth of two feet, and the command set out upon its long contemplated march. The rear guard
left the Basin on the 23d of November. Their course was southeast, crossing the Divide and thence heading for Fort Lyon. For one
hundred miles the snow was quite two feet in depth, and for the next hundred it ranged from six to twelve inches. Beyond that the
ground was almost bare and the snow no longer impeded their march.
On the afternoon of the 28th the entire command reached Fort Lyon, a distance of two hundred and sixty miles, in less than six days,
and so quietly and expeditiously had the march been made that the command at the fort was taken entirely by surprise. When the
vanguard appeared in sight it was reported that a body of Indians were approaching, and precautions were taken for their reception.
No one upon the route was permitted to go in advance of the column, and persons who it was suspected would spread the news of
the advance were kept under surveillance until all danger from that source was past.
At Fort Lyon the force was strengthened by about two hundred and fifty men of the first regiment, and at nine o'clock in the evening
the command set out for the Indian village. The course was due north, and their guide was the Polar star. As daylight dawned they
came in sight of the Indian camp, after a forced midnight march of forty-two miles, in eight hours, across the rough, unbroken plain.
But little time was required for preparation. The forces had been divided and arranged for battle on the march, and just as the sun
rose they dashed upon the enemy with yells that would put a Comanche army to blush. Although utterly surprised, the savages were
not unprepared, and for a time their defence told terribly against our ranks. Their main force rallied and formed in line of battle on the
bluffs beyond the creek, where they were protected by rudely constructed rifle-pits, from which they maintained a steady fire until the
shells from company C's (third regiment) howitzers began dropping among them, when they scattered and fought each for himself
in genuine Indian fashion. As the battle progressed the field of carnage widened until it extended over not less than twelve miles of
territory. The Indians who could, escaped or secreted themselves, and by three o'clock in the afternoon the carnage had ceased. It
was estimated that between three and four hundred of the savages got away with their lives. Of the balance there were neither

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nor prisoners. Their strength at the beginning of the action was estimated at nine hundred.
Their village consisted of one hundred and thirty Cheyenne and eight Arapahoe lodges. These, with their contents, were totally
destroyed. Among their effects were large supplies of flour, sugar, coffee, tea, &c. Women's and children's clothing were found; also
books and many other articles which must have been taken from captured trains or houses. One white man's scalp was found
which had evidently been taken but a few days before. The chiefs fought with unparalleled bravery, falling in front of their men. One of
them charged alone against a force of two or three hundred, and fell pierced with balls far in advance of his braves.
Our attack was made by five battalions. The first regiment, Colonel Chivington, part of companies C, D, E, G, H and K, numbering
altogether about two hundred and fifty men, was divided into two battalions; the first under command of Major Anthony, and the
second under Lieutenant Wilson, until the latter was disabled; when the command devolved upon Lieutenant Dunn. The three
battalions of the third, Colonel Shoup, were led, respectively, by Lieutenant Colonel Bowen, Major Sayr, and Captain Cree. The
action was begun by the battalion of Lieutenant Wilson, who occupied the right, and by a quick and bold movement cut off the enemy
from their herd of stock. From this circumstance we gained our great advantage. A few Indians secured horses, but the great
majority of them had to fight or fly on foot. Major Anthony was on the left, and the third in the centre.
Among the killed were all the Cheyenne chiefs, Black Kettle, White Antelope, Little Robe, Left Hand, Knock Knee, One Eye, and
another, name unknown. Not a single prominent man of the tribe remains, and the tribe itself is almost annihilated. The Arapahoes
probably suffered but little. It has been reported that the chief Left Hand, of that tribe, was killed, but Colonel Chivington is of the
opinion that he was not. Among the stock captured were a number of government horses and mules, including the twenty or thirty
stolen from the command of Lieutenant Chase at Jimmy's camp last summer.
The Indian camp was well supplied with defensive works. For half a mile along the creek there was an almost continuous chain of
rifle-pits, and another similar line of works crowned the adjacent bluff. Pits had been dug at all the salient points for miles. After the
battle twenty-three dead Indians were taken from one of these pits and twenty-seven from another.
Whether viewed as a march or as a battle, the exploit has few, if any, parallels. A march of 260 miles in but a fraction more than five
days, with deep snow, scanty forage, and no road, is a remarkable feat, whilst the utter surprise of a large Indian village is
unprecedented. In no single battle in North America, we believe, have so many Indians been slain.
It is said that a short time before the command reached the scene of battle an old squaw partially alarmed the village by reporting
that a great herd of buffalo were coming. She heard the rumbling of the artillery and tramp of the moving squadrons, but her people
doubted. In a little time the doubt was dispelled, but not by buffaloes.
A thousand incidents of individual daring and the passing events of the day might be told, but space forbids. We leave the task for
eye-witnesses to chronicle. All acquitted themselves well, and Colorado soldiers have again covered themselves with glory.

The issue of yesterday's News, containing the following despatch, created considerable of a sensation in this city, particularly
among the Thirdsters and others who participated in the recent campaign and the battle on Sand creek:

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"WASHINGTON, December 20, 1864.
"The affair at Fort Lyon, Colorado, in which Colonel Chivington destroyed a large Indian village, and all its inhabitants, is to be made
the subject of congressional investigation. Letters received from high officials in Colorado say that the Indians were killed after
surrendering, and that a large proportion of them were women and children."
Indignation was loudly and unequivocally expressed, and some less considerate of the boys were very persistent in their inquiries
as to who those "high officials" were, with a mild intimation that they had half a mind to "go for them." This talk about "friendly
Indians" and a "surrendered" village will do to "tell to marines," but to us out here it is all bosh.
The confessed murderers of the Hungate family--a man and wife and their two little babes, whose scalped and mutilated remains
were seen by all our citizens--were "friendly Indians," we suppose, in the eyes of these "high officials." They fell in the Sand creek
The confessed participants in a score of other murders of peaceful settlers and inoffensive travellers upon our borders and along
our roads in the past six months must have been friendly, or else the "high officials" wouldn't say so.
The band of marauders in whose possession were found scores of horses and mules stolen from government and from
individuals; wagon loads of flour, coffee, sugar and tea, and rolls of broad cloth, calico, books, &c, robbed from freighters and
emigrants on the plains; underclothes of white women and children, stripped from their murdered victims, were probably peaceably
disposed toward some of those "high officials," but the mass of our people "can't see it."
Probably those scalps of white men, women and children, one of them fresh, not three days taken, found drying in their lodges,
were taken in a friendly, playful manner; or possibly those Indian saddle-blankets trimmed with the scalps of white women, and with
braids and fringes of their hair, were kept simply as mementoes of their owners' high affection for the pale face. At any rate, these
delicate and tasteful ornaments could not have been taken from the heads of the wives, sisters or daughters of these "high officials."
That "surrendering" must have been the happy thought of an exceedingly vivid imagination, for we can hear of nothing of the kind
from any of those who were engaged in the battle. On the contrary, the savages fought like devils to the end, and one of our pickets
was killed and scalped by them the next day after the battle, and a number of others were fired upon. In one instance a party of the
vidette pickets were compelled to beat a hasty retreat to save their lives, full twenty-four hours after the battle closed. This does not
look much like the Indians had surrendered.
But we are not sure that an investigation may not be a good thing. It should go back of the "affair at Fort Lyon," as they are pleased to
term it down east, however, and let the world know who were making money by keeping those Indians under the sheltering
protection of Fort Lyon; learn who was interested in systematically representing that the Indians were friendly and wanted peace. It
is unquestioned and undenied that the site of the Sand creek battle was the rendezvous of the thieving and marauding bands of
savages who roamed over this country last summer and fall, and it is shrewdly suspected that somebody was all the time making a
very good thing out of it. By all means let there be an investigation, but we advise the honorable congressional committee, who may
be appointed to conduct it, to get their scalps insured before they pass Plum creek on their way out.

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Extract from the message of Hon. S. H. Elbert, acting governor of Colorado Territory.

The before unbroken peace of our Territory has been disturbed, since the last spring, by an Indian war. Allied and hostile tribes have
attacked our frontier settlements, driven in our settlers, destroyed their homes, attacked, burned, and plundered our freight and
emigrant trains, and thus suspended agricultural pursuits in portions of our country, and interrupted our trade and commerce with
the States. This has for the time seriously retarded the prosperity of our Territory.
At the commencement of the war the general government, taxed to the utmost in subduing the rebellion, was unable to help us, and
it became necessary to look to our own citizens for protection. They everywhere responded with patriotism and alacrity. Militia
companies were organized in the frontier counties, and secured local protection. Much credit is due to Captain Tyler's company of
militia for the important service they rendered in opening and protecting our line of communication with the States.
In response to the call of the governor for a regiment of cavalry for hundred day service, over a thousand of our citizens--the large
majority of them leaving lucrative employment--rapidly volunteered, and in that short time, despite the greatest difficulties in securing
proper equipments, organized, armed, made a long and severe campaign amid the snows and storms of winter, and visited upon
these merciless murderers of the plains a chastisement smiting and deserved. The gratitude of the country is due to the men who
thus sacrificed so largely their personal interests for the public good, and rendered such important service to the Territory; and their
work, if it can be followed up with a vigorous winter campaign, would result in a permanent peace.
The necessity of such a campaign, and the imperative demand for immediate and complete protection for our line of
communication with the States, has been, and is now being, earnestly urged on the government at Washington, and with a prospect
of success. These efforts should be seconded by your honorable body with whatever influence there may be in resolution or
memorial, setting forth the facts and necessities of our situation.


Washington, March 28, 1865.

SIR: In reply to your letter of the 15th instant, addressed to the Secretary of War, I have the honor to transmit herewith copies of the
orders and reports called for in relation to Indian affairs in the department of Kansas, when commanded by Major General Curtis.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Assistant Adjutant General.
Hon. D. W. Gooch,
Acting Chairman Committee on Conduct of the War.

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Denver, C. T., June 16, 1864.

SIR: You will immediately make necessary arrangements for the feeding and support of all the friendly Indians of the Cheyenne and
Arapahoe Indians at Fort Lyon, and direct the friendly Comanches and Kiowas, if any, to remain at Fort Larned. You will make a
requisition on the military commander of the post for subsistence for the friendly Indians of his neighborhood.
If no agent there to attend to this, deputize some one to do it. These friendly bands must be collected at places of rendezvous, and
all intercourse between them and tribes or individuals engaged in warfare with us prohibited; this arrangement will tend to withdraw
from the conflict all who are not thoroughly identified with the hostile movement, and, by affording a safe refuge, will gradually collect
those who may become tired of war and desire peace.
The war is opened in earnest, and upon your efforts to keep quiet the friendly, as nucleus for peace, will depend its duration to
some extent at least. You can send word to all these to come as directed above, but do not allow the families of those at war to be
introduced into the camp. I have established a camp for our northern friendly bands on Cache-la-Poudre, and as soon as my plan is
approved by the military I will issue a proclamation to the Indians; please spare no effort to carry out this instruction, and keep me
advised by every mail of the situation.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Governor and Ex-Officio Superintendent Indian Affairs.
Major S. G. COLBY, Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory.
A true copy:
Second Lieutenant 1st Colorado Veteran Cavalry, and
Acting Regimental Adjutant.

[By Telegraph from __________________, 186--.]
To _______ ________.
George Evans to Major Colby, at Fort Lyon, instructing him to make arrangements for feeding friendly Indians near Fort Lyon.
General instructions about collecting together all friendly Indians at places of rendezvous, as a measure to stop the war with the red
skins. Thinks by affording refuge of this kind that those at war now may become tired, and collect at those places, and sue for
peace, &c.
_________ __________,
Assistant Adjutant General.

Denver, June 29, 1864.
DEAR SIR: I enclose a circular to the Indians of the plains. You will, by every means you can, get the contents to all these Indians, as
many that are now hostile may come to the friendly camp, and when they all do, the war will

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be ended. Use the utmost economy in providing for those who come in, as the Secretary of the Interior confines me to the amount of
our appropriations, and they may be exhausted before the summer is out.
You will arrange to carry out the plan of the circular at Lyon and Larned.
You will use your utmost vigilance to ascertain how many of your Indians are hostile, where they are, and what plans they propose,
and report to me by every mail at least. For this purpose you will enlist the active aid of Mr. John Smith and his son, and of such
other parties as you may judge can be of essential service. Mr. C. A. Cook reports to me that Mr. Bent has given you important
information in regard to the plans and strength of the hostile combinations on the plains.
Please be careful and report to me in detail all the reliable information you can get promptly, as above directed.
I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Governor Colorado Territory and Superintendent Indian Affairs.
Major S. G. COLBY,
U. S. Indian Agent, Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory.

A true copy:
Second Lieutenant, 1st Colorado Veteran Cavalry,
Acting Regimental Adjutant.

Denver, June 27, 1864.

To the friendly Indians of the plains:
Agents, interpreters, and traders will inform the friendly Indians of the plains that some members of their tribes have gone to war
with the white people; they steal stock and run it off, hoping to escape detection and punishment.
In some instances they have attacked and killed soldiers and murdered peaceable citizens. For this the Great Father is angry, and
will certainly hunt them out and punish them; but he does not want to injure those who remain friendly to the whites. He desires to
protect and take care of them. For this purpose I direct that all friendly Indians keep away from those who are at war, and go to
places of safety.
Friendly Arapahoes and Cheyennes belonging on the Arkansas river will go to Major Colby, United States Indian agent, at Fort Lyon,
who will give them provisions, and show them a place of safety. Friendly Kiowas and Comanches will go to Fort Larned, where they
will be cared for in the same way.
Friendly Sioux will go to their agent at Fort Laramie for directions. Friendly Arapahoes and Cheyennes of the Upper Platte will go to
Camp Collins, on the Cache-la-Poudre, where they will be assigned a place of safety, and provisions will be given them.
The object of this is to prevent friendly Indians from being killed through mistake; none but those who intend to be friendly with the
whites must come to these places. The families of those who have gone to war with the whites must be kept away from among the
friendly Indians.

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The war on hostile Indians will be continued until they are all effectually subdued.
Governor of Colorado and Superintendent of Indian Affairs.
A true copy:
Second Lieutenant 1st Colorado Veteran Cavalry, and
Acting Regimental Adjutant.

___________ __________,
Assistant Adjutant General.

FORT RILEY, July 23, 1864.
Major General H. W. HALLECK:
The Indian difficulties west of this point are serious, and I have come here to rally a force on the borders to repress the mischief.
The stages not coming through, we have not definite intelligence. We only know that they have run off our stock from Larned and
Walnut creek, murdering some men. Small parties of Indians have come within thirty miles of this place. I have ordered the
quartermaster to buy horses to mount dismounted cavalry, and requested militia colonels to call out seven hundred militia to join
me. In this way I hope to raise a thousand men. I go on to Saline to-morrow. I think stealing is the main object of the Indians.
S. R. CURTIS, Major General.

D. C. WAGER, A. A. G.

SALINE, KANSAS, July 26, 1864, via Leavenworth.
General H. W. HALLECK:
The stage has just arrived from Laramie. The damage done by Indians amounts to ten teamsters killed, five wounded, two of them
scalped, and the stealing of about three hundred cattle. Our posts are safe.
S. R. CURTIS, Major General.

D. C. WAGER, A. A. G.

FORT LEAVENWORTH, August 8, 1864.
Major General HALLECK, Chief of Staff:
I have returned from Upper Arkansas. At Larned divided my force in all directions, going myself with those scouting southward
towards Red river. Could not overtake Indians, but scared them away from Santa Fé route, where

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stages and trains move regularly. Have made district of Upper Arkansas, assigning General Blunt to command. Have increased
and improved the organization of troops, giving stringent orders against allowing Indians inside of our line. Discharged militia, and
directed continual caution. The Kiowas, Comanches and Big Mouth Arapahoes are evidently determined to do all the mischief they
can. I hope no favor will be offered them by authorities at Washington till they make ample remuneration for their outrages.
Major General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865.
D. C. WAGER, A. A. G.

FORT LEAVENWORTH, August 10, 1864.
Major General HALLECK, Chief of Staff:
Indians have attacked and killed inhabitants on Little Blue, this side Fort Kearney, on overland stage route. Stage just arrived at
Atchison without passengers. I have requested governor to send militia after them, and telegraphed commander of Kearney to
come down on them if he has force, but forces are scarce in that region. Cannot some of General Sully's command move to
Major General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865.
D. C. WAGER, A. A. G.

Washington, D. C., August 13, 1864.
Major General CURTIS, Fort Leavenworth:
The contractor of the overland mail line has represented through the Post Office Department that more protection against Indians is
required along the line, and that two armed men should accompany each coach. He also asks that orders be given to the military
not to use the grain, forage, and stores of the line.
Please see that these requests are carried out as far as you are able.
Major General and Chief of Staff.

D. C. WAGER, A. A. G.

Page 64

FORT LEAVENWORTH, August 13, 1864.
General HALLECK:
Your despatch just received, and telegraphed to General Curtis, at Omaha. The following has just been received from General
Mitchell, commanding district of Nebraska, to General Curtis, Fort Leavenworth:
"Just heard from a company of militia sent up the Little Blue from Kearney. They scoured the country for forty miles up and down the
stream; found no Indians. I have parties out in every direction from each post chasing Indians. Everything will be done that I can do
with my present force. I am raising militia as fast as I can; the governor has authorized the raising of twelve companies. I have
received to-day ----- toward one company in this vicinity, of staunch men.
"B. B. MITCHELL, Brigadier General."
Major, A. A. G., Department of Kansas.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865.
D. C. WAGER, A. A. G.

OMAHA, August 16, 1864.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, Chief of Staff:
Yours of the 13th, concerning the furnishing of escorts for overland mail line to defend it against Indians, will be complied with. I am
here to look after Indian troubles that are quite extensive on the line and against the border settlements. I have troops arriving on the
Blue, where the mischief was greatest. General Mitchell telegraphs from Fort Kearney that he thinks that region is threatened by a
large force of Indians collecting on the Republican. I am sending out militia in small parties to join forces which I have gathered
below, and will soon be upon them, be they many or few.
S. R. CURTIS, Major General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865.
D. C. WAGER, A. A. G.

OMAHA, August 18, 1864.
Major General H. W. HALLECK:
General Mitchell telegraphs from Fort Kearney that Captain Mussey encountered five hundred well-armed Indians on Elk creek, near
Republican; had a fight; killed ten Indians, and lost two soldiers; drove Indians ten miles, but had to fall back, pursued by Indians,
thirty miles.
S. R. CURTIS, Major General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865.
D. C. WAGER, A. A. G.

Page 65

DENVER, August 18, 1864.
Hon. EDWIN STANTON, Secretary of War:
Extensive Indian depredations, with murder of families, occurred yesterday thirty miles south of Denver. Our lines of communication
are cut, and our crops, our sole dependence, are all in exposed localities, and cannot be gathered by our scattered population.
Large bodies of Indians are undoubtedly near to Denver, and we are in danger of destruction both from attack of Indians and
starvation. I earnestly request that Colonel Ford's regiment of 2d Colorado volunteers be immediately sent to our relief. It is
impossible to exaggerate our danger. We are doing all we can for our defence.
JNO. EVANS, Governor.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865.
D. C. WAGER, A. A. G.

Denver, August 22, 1864.
E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
No government saddles within seven hundred miles from here; no government horses to mount hundred-days regiment of cavalry,
nearly full. Unlimited information of contemplated attack by a large body of Indians, in a few days, along the entire line of our
settlements. Order Captain Mullin, quartermaster here, to purchase horses, and Lieutenant Hawley, district, ordnance officer, to
purchase horse equipments. Necessity imperative.
Governor of Colorado Territory.

This application should be granted at once.
Colonel Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865.
D. C. WAGER, A. A. G.

Washington, D. C., August 2, 1864.
Governor JOHN EVANS, Denver, Colorado Territory:
The Secretary of War directs me to say that a recent law requires all cavalry horses to be purchased under directions of Colonel
Ekin, of the quartermaster's department. If there is such a pressing necessity that purchases cannot be made in time, the military
authorities can resort to impressment. General Curtis is the proper judge of such necessity in his department.
Major General and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865.
D. C. WAGER, A. A. G.
Part VI-----5

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Fort Kearney, August 28, 1864.
Major General HALLECK, Chief of Staff:
Indians in small bands continue to commit depredations, but seem more cautious moving westward. Have effectually scoured the
country east of 99th meridian. Indians going west of settlements. Overland mail agents have withdrawn stock and gone east. I think
they can run through with such escorts as I can furnish. Militia very tardy in coming forward, many turning back before reaching this
Some fifty murders have been committed by Indians on this line, and considerable private stock stolen, but government has lost but
S. R. CURTIS, Major General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865.
D. C. WAGER, A. A. G.

Washington, D. C., September 3, 1864.
Major General CURTIS, Fort Kearney:
The civil officers of Montana have asked for military escort to that Territory. The Secretary of War authorizes you to give such escort, if,
in your opinion, you can spare troops for that purpose; but, first of all, the overland mail route and the frontier posts require protection
from the Indians.
The Secretary of War authorizes you to raise hundred-days men in Nebraska, without bounties.
Major General, Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865.
D. C. WAGER, A. A. G.

DENVER, September 7, 1864.
Hon. EDWIN A. STANTON, Secretary of War:
Pray give positive orders for our second Colorado cavalry to come out. Have notice published that they will come in detachments to
escort trains up the Platte on certain days. Unless escorts are sent thus we will inevitably have a famine in addition to this gigantic
Indian war. Flour is forty-five dollars a barrel, and the supply growing scarce, with none on the way. Through spies we got
knowledge of the plan of about one thousand warriors in camp to strike our frontier settlements, in small bands, simultaneously in
the night, for an extent of 300 miles. It was frustrated at the time, but we have to fear another such attempt soon. Pray give the order
for our troops to come, as requested, at once, as it will be too late for trains to come this season.
JOHN EVANS, Governor.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865.
D. C. WAGER, A. A. G.

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Via Lawrence, Kansas, September 16, 1864.
Major General HALLECK, Chief of Staff:
I struck this river near 100th parallel; sent scouts south to head of Saline, finding no large body of Indians. Divided command; sent
large portion up valley, to strike Ofallon's bluff; with remainder, two hundred and eighty-five, came down, scouring the country on all
sides, Buffalo plenty. Indians only in small parties, escaping south. Shall reach settlements on Smoky Hill river to-morrow. No signs
of great concentration of Indians. Bands of hunters steal and scalp, but can be routed by small armed force. Stage stations,
ranches, and settlements must have enclosures for themselves and stock, and a few troops, carefully distributed, can protect
settlements and lines of commerce.
S. R. CURTIS, Major General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865.
D. C. WAGER, A. A. G.

Fort Leavenworth, September 19, 1864.
I am in receipt of a copy of letters from the honorable Secretary of the Interior and Commissioner of Indian Affairs, with your
indorsement to take such action as I may "deem best." It is stated that I have ordered the Indians not to make their usual hunt. This
is erroneous. I may have suggested that it would be dangerous for our friendly Indians to go, but I have desired the Pawnees to
follow and operate when I had driven away the hostile bands. Yet I see great difficulty in discriminations, and also fear that some
bands of our friendly Indians might mingle with foes if they come in proximity. If the friendly Indians could be united for the purpose
of hunting and fighting with our troops, it would be easy to organize and so equip them as to avoid difficulty. In my recent
reconnaissance I took about seventy-five Pawnees with me as scouts, and, to avoid mistakes, dressed them with a blowse and
hats. It gave them a distinctive and graphic appearance, which could not be mistaken. Any other than an associate arrangement
seems almost impossible.
I appreciate the importance of allowing or aiding the friendly Indians to hunt buffalo; but any general movement by them would lead
to confusion and difficulty, not only with my troops, but with the border settlements; for the people, being terribly alarmed, would
make very little difference in their resentment and raids.
I will do all I can to favor the friendly Indians in any rational arrangement to hunt the buffalo, and believe, with the honorable
Secretary, that, properly associated with the troops, they would strengthen our efforts to suppress the hostile tribes.
I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,
Major General.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, Chief of Staff, Washington.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865.
Official copy:
J. C. KELTON, A. A. G.

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DENVER, September 19, 1864.
Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
Train with ordnance and ordnance stores en route to New Mexico, with mules, stolen by Indians at Fort Lyon, Colorado. We need
such stores for 3d regiment Colorado volunteers, cavalry, one hundred day men, now full. Authorize me by telegraph to take them.
Will not be used, if reach New Mexico, before next year. Indian warriors congregated eighty miles from Lyon, three thousand strong.
Colonel Commanding, District Colorado.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865.
D. C. WAGER, A. A. G.

Washington, D. C., September 20, 1864.
Colonel CHIVINGTON, Denver City:
The chief of ordnance objects to the diversion of the train sent to New Mexico. You must make requisition for your wants in the usual
Major General, Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865.
D. C. WAGER, A. A. G.

DENVER CITY, September 22, 1864.
Major General HALLECK, Chief of Staff:
I have regiment 100 days men ready for field. Train on the way from Fort Leavenworth, but cannot get here in time because of the
Indian troubles on the Platte route. Are four hundred miles back, and laid up. The time of this regiment will expire and Indians will
still hold road. This is no ordinary case.
Colonel Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865.
D. C. WAGER, A. A. G.

Washington, D. C, September 23, 1864.
Colonel CHIVINGTON, Denver City:
You will communicate your wants to your superior officer, General Curtis, at Fort Leavenworth.
Major General, Chief of Staff.

D. C. WAGER, A. A. G.

Page 69

Washington, D C., September 24, 1864.
Major General Curtis, Fort Leavenworth:
General Rosecrans has been directed to give you the regiment of Colorado cavalry at or near Kansas city. All your available forces,
not required against western Indians, should be thrown south on the Fort Scott route. Large reenforcements have been sent to the
Arkansas river to cut off the enemy's retreat.
Major General, Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865.
D. C. WAGER, A. A. G.

FORT LEAVENWORTH, September 26, 1864.
Major General HALLECK:
Despatch received. Had already begun moving troops and supporting my southeast. But a full regiment of hundred-days men and
part of the 1st Colorado going out this week. My main dependence must be in militia. If Price's forces come westward the militia are
notified to be ready.
S. R. CURTIS, Major General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865.
D. C. WAGER, A. A. G.

FORT LEAVENWORTH, October 7, 1864.
Major General HALLECK, Chief of Staff:
General Blunt came upon a party of Arapahoes and other hostile Indians, supposed to be four thousand, with fifteen hundred
warriors, on the twenty-fifth ultimo. This was about one hundred miles west of Larned, in Pawnee fork. The Indians overpowered the
advance, but the main force coming up routed and pursued them. Ninety-one dead Indians were left, and we lost two killed and
seven wounded. General Blunt's force was less than five hundred. He pursued for several days.
S. R. CURTIS, Major General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865.
D. C. WAGER, A. A. G.

Washington, D. C., October 16, 1864.
Brigadier General CONNOR, Salt Lake City:
Give all the protection in your power to the overland route between you and

Page 70

Fort Kearney, without regard to department lines. General Curtis's forces have been diverted by rebel raids from Arkansas.
Major General, Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865,
D. C. WAGER, A. A. G.

HEADQUARTERS, Fort Lyon, C. T., November 6, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to report that I arrived at this post and assumed command November 2, in obedience to Special Orders No. 4,
headquarters of district, October 17, 1864. Major E. W. Wynkoop, 1st cavalry of Colorado, was in command of the post. One hundred
and thirteen lodges of Arapahoe Indians, under their chiefs Little Raven, Left Hand, Nervah, Storms, and Knock Knee, and
numbering, in men, women and children, 652 persons, were encamped in a body about two miles from the post, and were daily
visiting the post, and receiving supplies from the commissary department, the supplies being issued by Lieutenant C. H. Copett,
assistant commissary of supplies, under orders from Major E. W. Wynkoop, commanding post.
I immediately gave instructions to arrest all Indians coming within the post, until I could learn something more about them. Went
down and met their head chiefs, half way between the post and their camp, and demanded of them by what authority and for what
purpose they were encamped here. They replied that they had always been on peaceable terms with the whites, had never desired
any other than peace, and could not be induced to fight. That other tribes were at war, and, therefore, they had come into the vicinity
of a post, in order to show that they desired peace, and to be where the travelling public would not be frightened by them, or the
Indians be harmed by travellers or soldiers on the road.
I informed them that I could not permit any body of armed men to camp in the vicinity of the post, nor Indians visit the post, except as
prisoners of war. They replied that they had but very few arms and but few horses, but were here to accept any terms that I
proposed. I then told them that I should demand their arms and all the stock they had in their possession which had ever belonged
to white men; they at once accepted these terms. I then proceeded with a company of cavalry to the vicinity of their camp, leaving my
men secreted, and crossed to their camp, received their arms from them, and sent out men to look through their herd for United
States or citizens' stock, and to take all stock except Indian ponies; found ten mules and four horses, which have been turned over to
the acting assistant quartermaster. Their arms are in very poor condition, and but few, with little ammunition. Their horses far below
the average grade of Indian horses. In fact, these that are here could make but a feeble fight if they desired war. I have permitted
them to remain encamped near the post, unarmed, as prisoners, until your wishes can be heard in the matter; in the interval, if I can
learn that any of their warriors have been engaged in any depredations that have been committed, shall arrest them, and place all
such in close confinement.
I am of opinion that the warriors of the Arapahoes, who have been engaged in war, are all now on the Smoky Hill, or with the Sioux
Indians, and have all the serviceable arms and horses belonging to the tribe, while these here are too poor to fight, even though
they desired war.

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Nine Cheyenne Indians to-day sent in, wishing to see me. They state that 600 of that tribe are now 35 miles north of here, coming
towards the post, and 2,000 about 75 miles away, waiting for better weather to enable them to come in. I shall not permit them to
come in, even as prisoners, for the reason that if I do, I shall have to subsist them upon a prisoner's rations. I shall, however,
demand their arms, all stolen stock, and the perpetrators of all depredations. I am of the opinion that they will not accept this
proposition, but that they will return to the Smoky Hill. They pretend that they want peace, and I think they do now, as they cannot fight
during the winter, except where a small band of them can find an unprotected train or frontier settlement. I do not think it is policy to
make peace with them now, until all perpetrators of depredations are surrendered up to be dealt with as we may propose.
The force effective for the field at the post is only about 100, and one company, (K, New Mexico volunteers,) sent here by order of
General Carlton, commanding department of New Mexico, were sent with orders to remain sixty days, and then report back to Fort
Union. Their sixty days will expire on the 10th of November (instant.) Shall I keep them here for a longer period, or permit them to
The Kiowas and Comanches, who have all the stock stolen upon the Arkansas route, are reported south of the Arkansas river and
towards the Red river. The Cheyennes are between here and the Smoky Hill; part of the Arapahoes are near this post; the
remainder north of the Platte. With the bands divided in this way, one thousand cavalry could now overtake them and punish some
of them severely, I think, but with the force here it can only be made available to protect the fort. I shall not permit the Cheyennes to
camp here, but will permit the Arapahoes now here to remain in their present camp as prisoners until your action is had in the
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major 1st Cavalry of Colorado, Commanding Post.
To ______________,
A. A. A. G. District of Upper Arkansas, Fort Riley, Kansas.


Fort Riley, November 22, 1864.
Respectfully forwarded for the information of the general commanding, respectfully asking for instruction in regard to the Arapahoe
Indians kept and fed as prisoners at Fort Lyon. Major Anthony has been instructed to carry out general field order No. 2, July 31,
1864, fully, until further instructions from department headquarters. I would also state that I have learned, unofficially, that on
Saturday, the 12th instant, two white men were killed and five wagons destroyed near Fort Larned by a party of Indians numbering
about thirty. Have written to commanding officer at Fort Larned in reference to it, and instructed him to report all cases of Indian
depredations that may come to his knowledge.
Major 3d Wisconsin Cavalry, Commanding District.

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FORT LEAVENWORTH, December 1, 1864.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, Chief of Staff:
I am informed by telegraph from Neosho crossing, about one hundred and twenty miles below Fort Scott, that the train carrying
supplies to Fort Gibson is halted because of a large rebel force in front. This is beyond my department lines, and I am unable to do
much, but have ordered a regiment of my troops under Colonel Moonlight to support the escort commanded by Major Phillips in
going forward or back as circumstances seem to require. Indian troubles now demand all my force, and large numbers are
crowding into Fort Lyon as prisoners of war, while others in small bands are attacking stages and trains. Under these
circumstances, I cannot furnish escorts to carry provisions for Indians and troops beyond my department lines; and your attention is
called to the necessity of furnishing General Steele with forces sufficient and in position to guard the lines to Fort Gibson and Fort
Scott, or have the troops and Indians now there to fall back where they get provisions.
S. R. CURTIS, Major General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March is, 1865,
D. C. WAGER, A. A. G.

FORT LEAVENWORTH, December 8, 1864.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, Chief of Staff:
Colonel Chivington, after a march of three hundred miles in ten days, on the 29th returned. He came upon a Cheyenne camp of one
hundred and thirty lodges at the south bend of Big Sandy, Cheyenne county, Colorado. He attacked at daylight, killing over four
hundred Indians and capturing the same number of ponies. Among the killed are chiefs Black Kettle, White Antelope, and Little
Robe. Our loss is nine killed and thirty-eight wounded. Our troops encountered snow two feet deep.
Major General Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865.
D. C. WAGER, A. A. G.

Fort Leavenworth, December 30, 1864.
Several papers have been referred to me concerning irregularities charged on General Blunt and others before I came in this
command, and entirely outside. Yet, as some of the parties are in my command, I may do something if I can get men disconnected
with Kansas affairs and worthy of credence. There is so much political and personal strife in our service, it is almost impossible to
get an honest, impartial determination of facts.
A shift of troops, so as to put officers and men out of their own home localities, would greatly improve my command, and I wish
especially that some of my Kansas regiments may be sent to the front and troops of other States sent to me. I have ordered the 11th
Kansas to Colorado, far enough from their homes, but the 15th and 16th Kansas might well be changed.
The 1st Colorado, the 3d Colorado, and many companies of other regiments, have to be mustered out under the provisions of
Circular No. 36.

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I am also informed that Fort Smith and Fayetteville, in the department of Arkansas, are being evacuated. Fort Gibson, in the same
department, is garrisoned with dismounted Indian troops, so that my southern border is more exposed than formerly.
The Indians on the plains continue to act in bands of fifty or one hundred at various points, and I desire to make new efforts to crush
them during the latter part of winter. Under these circumstances, I feel it my duty to urge the sending of more troops of other States
to aid in keeping open the overland lines, escort trains, put down the Indians, and strengthen the defences which overlook the
enemy's approaches from Texas.
I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,
S. R. CURTIS, Major General.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Chief of Staff; Washington, D. C.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865.
Official copy:
J. C. KELTON, A. A. G.

Washington, D. C., January 3, 1865.
GENERAL: Your communications proposing a winter's campaign against the Indians, and asking for more troops, were sent to
General Grant immediately on their receipt. If he has acted on the matter, his orders have gone directly to you, as nothing on the
subject has been received here.
I write this to inform you that the matter was duly attended to by me.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major General, Chief of Staff.
Major General CURTIS,
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865.
Official copy:
J. C. KELTON, A. A. G.

[Dated Denver, January 8, 1865.--Received January 9, 3 p. m.]
J. B. CHAFFEE, 45 William:
Urge the government to send troops on Platte route. Indians burning trains and slaying emigrants.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865,
Official copy:
J. C. KELTON, A. A. G.

NEW YORK, January 10, 1865.
DEAR JUDGE: I received the enclosed despatch this a. m. You cannot be too urgent with the Secretary of War, or the President,
about our Indian troubles. Unless something is done to settle this trouble, we are virtually killed as a Territory. You can hardly
realize, without seeing it, the large amount of machinery en route for our Territory to work the mines with. Everything in the

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way of supplies is exorbitantly high, all on account of the hazard of transportation. Emigration is limited on account of the danger of
travel. It is peculiarly disastrous to us now because so many eastern capitalists have been and are investing in our mines, and are
preparing to open and develop them.
I am inclined to the opinion that our administration, both civil and military, have failed to comprehend the situation. I mean Evans
and Chivington. I think this whole difficulty could have been arrested; but this is nothing to the case now. This must be attended to
immediately, or our prospects are blasted for some time to come, and the development of a rich mining country indefinitely
postponed. For God's sake, urge some action. I can't come over just now, or I would give you my views regarding what action ought
to be taken; but anything, so that some steps are taken to protect the line of travel.
There is no use to depend on General Curtis, Evans, Chivington, or any other politician.
Yours of the 9th received this morning.
Truly, &c.,

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865.
Official copy:
J. C. KELTON, A. A. G.

Washington, D. C., January 11, 1865.
Major General CURTIS, Fort Leavenworth:
Statements from respectable sources have been received here that the conduct of Colonel Chivington's command towards the
friendly Indians has been a series of outrages calculated to make them all hostile. You will inquire into and report on this matter,
and will take measures to have preserved and accounted for all plunder taken from the Indians at Fort Lyons and other places.
Major General, Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865.
D. C. WAGER, A. A. G.

WAR DEPARTMENT, January 11, 1865.
Judge Bennet, delegate from Colorado Territory, presents a letter and telegram from J. B. Chaffee relative to the Indian
depredations on the mail route to Colorado, and the general unsettled condition of the country, owing to the active hostility of the
Indians, incited mainly by the recent attack of Colonel Chivington at Fort Lyons. The attention of the government is called to the
immediate necessity of sending additional troops to that region to protect the route.
Respectfully referred to General Halleck.
By order of the Secretary of War.
Colonel and Inspector General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865.
Official copy:
J. C. KELTON, A. A. G.

Page 75

Fort Leavenworth, January 12, 1865.
GENERAL: Your despatch of yesterday, directing me to investigate Colonel Chivington's conduct towards the Indians, is received,
and will be obeyed. Colonel Chivington has been relieved by Colonel Moonlight, and is probably out of the service, under provisions
of Circular No. 36, War Department.
Although the colonel may have transgressed my field orders concerning Indian warfare, (a copy of which is here enclosed,) and
otherwise acted very much against my views of propriety in this assault at Sand creek, still it is not true, as Indian agents and Indian
traders are representing, that such extra severity is increasing Indian war. On the contrary, it tends to reduce their numbers, and
bring them to terms. Their bands are more united, perhaps, at this time than during the summer, but this results from their
necessities and surroundings. They are in a destitute condition, and must, at this season of the year, resort to desperate measures
to procure horses and provisions; hence we see a continual effort to overpower our little posts, or our trains and stages. Their
lodges are now between the Arkansas and Platte, and they shift their assaults so as to attack to the best advantage. I am collecting
and arranging troops near Fort Riley, but need more force to make another effort to destroy them. I will be glad to save the few
honest and kindly disposed, and protest against the slaughter of women and children; although, since General Harney's attack of
the Sioux many years ago at Ash Hollow, the popular cry of settlers and soldiers on the frontier favors an indiscriminate slaughter,
which is very difficult to restrain. I abhor this style, but so it goes from Minnesota to Texas. I fear that Colonel Chivington's assault at
Sand creek was upon Indians who had received some encouragement to camp in that vicinity under some erroneous supposition
of the commanding officer at Lyon that he could make a sort of "city of refuge" at such a point. However wrong that may have been, it
should have been respected, and any violation of known arrangements of that sort should be severely rebuked. But there is no
doubt a portion of the tribe assembled were occupied in making assaults on our stages and trains, and the tribes well know that we
have to hold the whole community responsible for acts they could restrain, if they would properly exert their efforts in that way. It is
almost impossible to properly try officers in my command, if they have a high rank, my troops all being widely scattered and much
I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
S. R. CURTIS, Major General.

Washington, March 18, 1865.
Official copy:
_______ ________, A. A. G.


In the Field, Fort Ellsworth, July 27, 1864.

II. Hunters will be detailed for killing game, but the troops must not scatter and break down stock to chase buffalo. Indians at war
with us will be the object of our pursuit and distinction, but women and children must be spared. All horses, ponies, and property
taken will be placed in charge of Quartermas-

Page 76

ter P. C. Taylor, who will have it properly collected or sent back to safe place for future disposition; this is necessary to prevent the
accumulation of useless Baggage.

By order of Major General Curtis.
Assistant Adjutant General.

Official Copy: JOHN WILLIAMS, A. G. A.

Washington, March 18, 1865.
Official Copy:  ____ ________, A. A. G.


In the Field, Fort Larned, July 31, 1864.
I. At all military posts or stations west of the Kansas and Nebraska settlements in this department, stockades or abatis enclosures
must be made for the troops and stock, and animals must be kept in such enclosures at night, and never herded during the day
without distant and careful pickets, who can give warning of approaching enemies in time to preserve the stock from surprise.
II. Indians and their allies or associates will not be allowed within the forts except blindfolded, and then they must be kept totally
ignorant of the character and number of our forces. Neglect of this concealment will be followed by the most severe and summary
Commanders of forts and stations will furnish escorts according to their best judgments, keeping in view the safety of their own
posts, the stage or public property to be guarded, and the preservation of the horses.
These precautions must not be relaxed without permission of the commander of the department, and all officers, of whatever grade,
will report promptly to the nearest and most available assistance, and to district and department headquarters, any patent neglect of
this order, or any palpable danger to a command.
The industry and skill displayed by Lieutenant Ellsworth, and the troops under his command, in the erection of a blockhouse and
other protection for his troops and animals at Smoky Hill crossing, deserve special commendation, while the negligence exhibited
elsewhere, especially at this post, while under its former commander, is deprecated and denounced.
By command of Major General S. R. Curtis.
Assistant Adjutant General.

Washington, March 18, 1865.
Official copy:
____ ________, A. A. G.

Fort Leavenworth, January 30, 1865.
GOVERNOR: Yours of the 20th is just received, and I telegraph the latest news. I was provoked at the course taken by the
commanding officer at Julesburg, who took his entire force to escort prisoners through, leaving that

Page 77

post for few days entirely vacated. I have telegraphed a proper rebuke, and trust this will not again occur. None of my military
stations have been disturbed. They are all intact, and generally too strong to be taken by assault. All we need is three or four
regiments, which it seems to me will be sufficient. Most of these I would keep moving in the country infested by foes. I fear your
Interior Department will make me trouble, by proposing military evolutions which conflict with my own. After traversing most of the
plains last summer, up the Arkansas, up the Platte, and near the head of every stream between these rivers, my personal
knowledge, coupled with that obtained from my officers, is abundant to enable me to understand the matter, and I am only desirous
of doing what I consider necessary to make a finish, as near as may be, of these troubles. But I cannot carry on war on other
people's plans. I want no fancy movements, such as occurred last summer, when one of your militia companies marched down the
line, passing my troops, and claiming to have "opened the overland route," as though others had not been over most of the places
on the Blue, and on Plum creek and elsewhere, where most of the losses had transpired. This move of Chivington against the
bands that had been congregated on Sand creek, at the instance of Major Wynkoop, was also an inspiration of over-zeal which did
not emanate from my headquarters. I name these things, governor, to secure unity of action, not to find fault.
On every occasion last summer I took the field promptly, and, although I did not get to Denver, I was at the slaughter ground near
Larned on the Arkansas, and on the Plum and Blue on the Platte, making overland journeys between, with active, efficient forces
extending over two thousand miles; so that my zeal and energy cannot be doubted. I protest my desire to pursue and punish the
enemy everywhere, in his lodges especially; but I do not believe in killing women and children who can be taken, and, if need be,
camped east of the Mississippi, where they can be kept and cared for. I always did and do consider the Ash Hollow massacre a
monstrous outrage, but the promotion and laudation that followed that transaction should excuse the indiscretion and cruelty of
excited and outraged frontier soldiers, who have always heard Ash Hollow warfare extolled as the very brilliant point of glorious
Indian warfare.
In my first movement last summer, when in pursuit of the Indians, I tried to restrain this plan of warfare, by issuing an order against
the massacre of women and children, believing that taking such captive and bringing them away would just as effectually mortify
and annoy the Indian robbers and warriors. Let me say, too, that I see nothing new in all this Indian movement since the Chivington
affair, except that Indians are more frightened and keep further away. By pushing them hard this next month, before grass recruits
their ponies, they will be better satisfied with making war and robbery a business. I would send into their lines some friendly,
reliable Arapahoes and Cheyennes, and separate tribes, so as to save such as may be willing to make peace and fight the bad
Such are my views. I am not anxious to have the job of operating matters; but while I have command, I want unity of action, or no
cross or counter currents. I have written this, because I see by telegraph that matters are spoken of as being organized at
Washington, where I fear less is known of details.
I am, governor, yours truly,
S. R. CURTIS, Major General.
His Excellency Governor JNO. EVANS, Washington, D. C.

Washington, March 18, 1865.
Official copy:
____ ________, A. A. G.

Page 78

Fort Leavenworth, January 30, 1865.
GENERAL: Governor Evans writes me, that he fears Chivington's conduct at Sand creek may embarrass military matters on the
plains. I have written him fully, and enclose you a copy of my letter.
There is no new feature in these Indian troubles, except that Indians seem more frightened. More forces and more prudence will
keep the lines open and subdue the hostile tribes. Some accounts of great combinations go the rounds; but I put no confidence in
such stories.
The Indians of the plains are generally robbers and murderers, and act only from motives of hunger and avarice in their assaults,
and by fear in their forbearance.
Settlements have increased, and our lines of communication have become more convenient for their assaults, till they become
more troublesome and venturesome. The carelessness of emigration invited their assaults. It is folly to attribute the Indian troubles
to the wrongs committed by white men. While we may condemn these, it is really more indulgence than cruelty that endured and
continues their warfare. They have no great armies; they are not combined; their action is in separate bands of separate tribes. A
thousand men with light artillery can whip their greatest possible combinations; but it is desirable to have three or four more
regiments, so that a movable force of say two thousand can take a shifting attitude, going to a central point and throwing out
detachments as circumstances seem to require. Such a force must follow the buffalo, as the Indians do, and must not go beyond
reasonable proximity to the lines of travel, but remain near enough to the little posts that guard the travel and trains that follow the
routes up the Platte and up the Arkansas.
I send you a map of the overland route to the mountains with stations marked. I have required our troops to erect defences against
Indian assaults, and a few men can in this way hold position, and a few more accompany the stage or train to adjacent stations.
Such forts cost nothing of consequence, and have already saved men and stores in several instances.
Forces are necessary on these lines and in the edge of settlements; but a movable force generally stationed between the Platte and
Arkansas, as I have suggested, and nearest the eastern settlements where it can be most economically supplied, will, in my
judgment, be the proper organization for the country. I have in a former letter expressed my purpose to do all I can to continue the
campaign during the winter.
I specially urge the extension of the telegraph at least to Riley. The advantage will, in my judgment, greatly exceed the cost. I need
connexion with the Indian and buffalo range, so I can direct matters on the Platte to correspond with intelligence arriving from the
Santa Fé route. Our telegraph company can extend the line with only a cost of about ten thousand dollars; but it is proper to say my
request last season was disapproved by the honorable the Secretary of War, and this is a renewal of the request.
I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,
S. R. CURTIS, Major General.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Chief of Staff, Washington, D. C.

P. S.--February 2.--I delayed this for the map, which does not satisfy me, and will be delayed a few days for revision. I have ordered
all possible force to Julesburg, where Indian difficulties continue. I have information, also, that a council of the chiefs have
determined to try to draw off troops from the Ar-

Page 79

kansas line, by attacking the Platte line. I have to act in view of their shifting assaults.
S. R. CURTIS, Major General.

Washington, March 18, 1865.
Official copy:

Washington, D. C., February 1, 1865.
GENERAL: I transmit herewith a copy of a letter from General Conner in regard to the defence of the overland mail route, and also
several papers from General Curtis on this subject.
These papers and others were, on their receipt, forwarded to Lieutenant General Grant, and have been returned without any
instructions from him, so far as I am informed.
It is therefore presumed that he deems the large cavalry force in the department of Kansas as sufficient for present purposes,
without taking others from active duty in the field.
It is proper to state in this connexion, that others report these stories of Indian hostilities as greatly exaggerated, if not mostly gotten
up for purposes of speculation; and respectable authorities assert that they are encouraged by the agents of the Overland Mail
Company, in order to cover their frequent failure to transport the mails according to contract.
Be this as it may, it is highly important that the roads to New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Idaho should be properly protected from
Indian hostilities, so that there may be no interruption in the transmission of supplies and the mails.
You will transmit these papers, with the necessary instructions, to General Dodge, who will give the whole matter his immediate
care and attention.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major General, Chief of Staff.
Major General JOHN POPE,
St. Louis, Missouri.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865.     Official copy:
J. C. KELTON, A. A. G.

February 13, 1865.
SIR: We are appointed by the Committee on Indian Affairs of the Senate a sub-committee to confer with the President and yourself
on the subject of transferring the Indian country, with one tier of counties of western Arkansas, to the Missouri-Kansas Department.
We refrain from giving reasons or argument, believing you are already of opinion the change should be promptly made, and merely
submit the request.
Yours, &c.,
Secretary of War.

Page 80

N. B.--I saw General Grant Saturday night, who informed me he had no objection to the change.

We earnestly recommend that the Indian troops now in the service in the Indian country be mustered out of the service with their
arms in time to raise a crop for their destitute families this season, if other troops are substituted.
Committee on Indian Affairs.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 18, 1865.
Official copy:
J. C. KELTON, A. A. G.

January 23, 1865.
Case of application of Ben Holladay that General Curtis may be ordered to re-enforce Julesburg (crossing of the Platte) immediately.
Referred to Major General Halleck, chief of staff.
By order of the Secretary of War.
Colonel and Inspector General.

March 18, 1865.
Official copy:
Colonel and Assistant Adjutant General.

(From Julesburg, dated 14.--Received January 16, 1865.)
I arrived here to-day with fifteen (15) men; shall try and hold station; soldiers all gone; only the wounded; station badly torn up;
messenger robbed; great deal of property destroyed.
Division Adjutant.

March 18, 1865.
Official copy:
Colonel and Assistant Adjutant General.

(Dated New York 21, 1865.--Received Washington. January 21, 1865.)
(Care of Senator POMEROY, 15th and F sts.)
Reuben Thomas telegraphs cannot hold Julesburg. If he does not the In-

Page 81

dians have conquered the country, from Kearney to Denver, beyond hope this winter.

March 18, 1865.
Official copy:
Colonel and Assistant Adjutant General.

(Dated New York 21, 1865, 11 o'clock.--Received Washington, January 21, 1865.)
To GEORGE B. JOLIS, care of Senator POMEROY:
Try to have order sent to Curtis or Mitchell to help them at Julesburg, or he will abandon.

March 18, 1865.
Official copy:
Colonel and Assistant Adjutant General.

January 15, 1865.
SIR: In pursuance of Special Order No. 43, headquarters, district of Upper Arkansas, directing me to assume command of Fort
Lyon, as well as to investigate and immediately report in regard to late Indian proceedings in this vicinity, I have the honor to state
that I arrived at this post on the evening of the 14th of January, 1865, assumed command on the morning of the 15th of January,
1865, and the result of my investigation is as follows:
As explanatory, I beg respectfully to state that, while formerly in command of this post, on the 4th day of September, 1864, and after
certain hostilities on the part of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians, induced, as I have had ample proof, by the overt acts of white
men, three Indians (Cheyennes) were brought as prisoners to me, who had been found coming toward the post, and who had in
their possession a letter written, as I ascertained afterwards, by a half-breed in the Cheyenne camp, as coming from Black Kettle
and other prominent chiefs of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe nations, the purport of which was that they desired peace, had never
desired to be at war with the whites, &c., as well as stating that they had in their possession some white prisoners, women and
children, whom they were willing to deliver up providing that peace was granted them. Knowing that it was not in my power to insure
and offer them the peace for which they sued, but at the same time anxious, if possible, to accomplish the rescue of the white
prisoners in their possession, I finally concluded to risk an expedition with the command I could raise, numbering one hundred and
twenty-seven men, to their rendezvous, where I was informed they were congregated to the number of two thousand, and endeavor
by some means to procure the aforesaid white prisoners, and to be governed in my course in accomplishing the same entirely by
circumstances. Having formerly made lengthy reports in regard to the details of my expedition, I have but to say that I succeeded,
Part VI-----6

Page 82

cured four white captives from the hands of these Indians, simply giving them in return a pledge that I would endeavor to procure for
them the peace for which they so anxiously sued, feeling that, under the proclamation issued by John Evans, governor of Colorado
and superintendent of Indian affairs, a copy of which becomes a portion of this report, even if not by virtue of my position as a United
States officer, highest in authority in the country included within the bounds prescribed as the country of the Arapahoe and
Cheyenne nations, I could offer them protection until such time as some measures might be taken by those higher in authority than
myself in regard to them. I took with me seven of the principal chiefs, including Black Kettle, to Denver city, for the purpose of
allowing them an interview with the governor of Colorado, by that means making a mistake of which I have since become painfully
aware--that of proceeding with the chiefs to the governor of Colorado Territory, instead of to the headquarters of my district, to my
commanding officer. In the consultation with Governor Evans, the matter was referred entirely to the military authorities. Colonel J. M.
Chivington, at that time commander of the district of Colorado, was present at the council held with these Indian chiefs, and told
them that the whole matter was referred to myself, who would act toward them according to the best of my judgment, until such time
as I could receive instructions from the proper authorities. Returning to Fort Lyon, I allowed the Indians to bring their villages to the
vicinity of the post, including their squaws and pappooses, and in such a position that I could at any moment, with the garrison I
had, have annihilated them, had they given any evidence of hostility of any kind, in any quarter.
I then immediately despatched my adjutant, Lieutenant W. W. Denison, with a full statement, to the commanding general of the
department, asking for instructions; but in the mean while various false rumors having reached district headquarters in regard to my
course, I was relieved from the command of Fort Lyon, and ordered to report at headquarters. Major Scott J. Anthony, 1st cavalry of
Colorado, who had been ordered to assume command of Fort Lyon, previous to my departure held a consultation with the chiefs, in
my presence, and told them that though acting under strict orders, under the circumstances, he could not materially differ from the
course which I had adopted, and allowed them to remain in the vicinity of the post, with their families, assuring them perfect safety
until such time as positive orders should be received from headquarters in regard to them. I left the post on the 25th day of
November, for the purpose of reporting at district headquarters. On the second day after leaving Fort Lyon, while on the plains, I was
approached by three Indians, one of whom stated to me that he had been sent by Black Kettle to warn me that about two hundred
Sioux warriors had proceeded down the road between where I was and Fort Larned, to make war, and desired that I should be
careful; another evidence of these Indians good faith. All of his statement proved afterwards to be correct. Having an escort of
twenty-eight men, I proceeded on my way, but did not happen to fall in with them.
From evidence of officers at this post, I understand that on the 27th day of November, 1864, Colonel J. M. Chivington, with the 3d
regiment of Colorado cavalry (one-hundred-days men) and a battalion of the 1st Colorado cavalry, arrived at Fort Lyon, ordered a
portion of the garrison to join him, under the command of Major Scott J. Anthony, and against the remonstrance of the officers of the
post, who stated to him the circumstances of which he was well aware, attacked the camp of friendly Indians, the major portion of
which were composed of women and children. The affidavits which become a portion of this report will show, more particularly than
I can state, the full particulars of that massacre. Every one whom I have spoken to, either officer or soldier, agrees in the relation that
the most fearful atrocities were committed that ever were heard of. Women and children were killed and scalped, children shot at

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their mothers' breasts, and all the bodies mutilated in the most horrible manner. Numerous eye-witnesses have described scenes
to me, coming under the eye of Colonel Chivington, of the most disgusting and horrible character; the dead bodies of females
profaned in such a manner that the recital is sickening; Colonel J. M. Chivington all the time inciting his troops to these diabolical
outrages. Previous to the slaughter commencing he addressed his command, arousing in them, by his language, all their worst
passions, urging them on to the work of committing all these atrocities. Knowing himself all the circumstances of these Indians
resting on the assurances of protection from the government, given them by myself and Major Scott J. Anthony, he kept his
command in entire ignorance of the same; and when it was suggested that such might be the case he denied it, positively stating
that they were still continuing their depredations, and laid there threatening the fort. I beg leave to draw the attention of the colonel
commanding to the fact established by the enclosed affidavits, that two thirds or more of that Indian village were women and
children, and he is aware whether or not the Indians go to war taking with them their women and children. I desire also to state that
Colonel J. M. Chivington is not my superior officer, but is a citizen mustered out of the United States service; and also, that at the
time this inhuman monster committed this unprecedented atrocity he was a citizen, by reason of his term of service having expired,
he having lost his regulation command some months previous.
Colonel Chivington reports officially that between five and six hundred Indians were left dead upon the field. I have been informed by
Captain Booth, district inspector, that he visited the field and counted but sixty-nine bodies, and by others who were present that but
a few, if any, over that number were killed, and that two-thirds of them were women and children. I beg leave to further state, for the
information of the colonel commanding, that I have talked to every officer in Fort Lyon, and many enlisted men, and that they
unanimously agree that all the statements I have made in this report are correct.
In conclusion, allow me to say that from the time I held the consultation with the Indian chiefs on the head-waters of Smoky Hill, up
to the date of the massacre by Colonel Chivington, not one single depredation had been committed by the Cheyenne and Arapahoe
Indians. The settlers of the Arkansas valley had returned to their ranches from which they had fled, had taken in their crops, and had
been resting in perfect security under assurances from myself that they would be in no danger for the present, by that means saving
the country from what must inevitably become almost a famine were they to lose their crops; the lines of communication were
opened and travel across the plains rendered perfectly safe through the Cheyenne and Arapahoe country. Since this last horrible
murder by Colonel Chivington the country presents a scene of desolation. All communication is cut off with the States except by
sending large bodies of troops, and already over a hundred whites have fallen as victims to the fearful vengeance of these betrayed
Indians. All this country is ruined. There can be no such thing as peace in the future but by the total annihilation of all the Indians on
the plains. I have the most reliable information to the effect that the Cheyennes and Arapahoes have allied themselves with the
Kiowas Comanches, and Sioux, and are congregated to the number of five or six thousand on the Smoky Hill.
Let me also draw the attention of the colonel commanding to the fact stated by affidavit, that John Smith, United States interpreter, a
soldier, and a citizen, were present in the Indian camp, by permission of the commanding officer of this post--another evidence to
the fact of these same Indians being regarded as friendly; also, that Colonel Chivington states, in his official report, that he fought
from nine hundred to one thousand Indians, and left from five to six hundred dead upon the field, the sworn evidence being that
there were but five

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hundred souls in the village, two-thirds of them being women and children, and that there were but from sixty to seventy killed, the
major portion of whom were women and children.
It will take many more troops to give security to travellers and settlers in this country, and to make any kind of successful warfare
against these Indians. I am at work placing Fort Lyon in a state of defence, having all, both citizens and soldiers, located here
employed upon the works, and expect soon to have them completed, and of such a nature that a comparatively small garrison can
hold the fort against any attack by Indians.
Hoping that my report may receive the particular attention of the colonel commanding, I respectfully submit the same.
Your obedient Servant,
Major Com'g 1st Colorado Cavalry and Fort Lyon.

Lieutenant J. E. TAPPAN,
Act'g Ass't Adj't General, District of Upper Arkansas.

Official copy:
____ ________,
Assistant Adjutant General.

January 15, 1865.
Personally appeared before me John Smith, United States Indian interpreter, who, after being duly sworn, says:
That on the 4th day of September, 1864, he was appointed Indian interpreter for the post of Fort Lyon, and has continued to serve in
that capacity up to the present date; that on the 4th day of September, 1864, by order of Major E. W. Wynkoop, commanding post of
Fort Lyon, he was called upon to hold a conversation with three Cheyenne Indians, viz: One Eye, and two others, who had been
brought in to the post that day; that the result of the interview was as follows: One Eye, Cheyenne, stated that the principal chiefs and
sub-chiefs of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe nations had held a consultation and agreed to a man, of the chiefs and sub-chiefs, to
come or send some one who was well acquainted with the parties at the post, and finally agreed to send himself, One Eye, with a
paper written by George Bent, half-breed, to the effect that they, the Cheyennes and Arapahoes, had and did agree to turn over to
Major E. W. Wynkoop, or any other military authority, all the white prisoners they had in their possession, as they were all anxious to
make peace with the whites, and never desired to be at war. Major E. W. Wynkoop then asked One Eye, he having lived among
whites, and known to have always been friendly disposed towards them, whether he thought the Indians were sincere, and whether
they would deliver the white prisoners into his (Major Wynkoop's) hands. His reply was, that at the risk of his life he would guarantee
their sincerity. Major Wynkoop then told him that he would detain him as a prisoner for the time, and if he concluded to proceed to
the Indian camp he would take him with him and hold him as a hostage for their (the Indian's) good faith.
One Eye also stated that the Cheyenne and Arapahoe nations were congregated, to the number of two thousand, on the
head-waters of the Smoky Hill, including some forty lodges of Sioux; that they had rendezvoused there, and brought in their war
parties for the purpose of hearing what would be the result of their message by which they had sued for peace, and would remain
until they heard something definite. Major Wynkoop told One Eye that he would pro-

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ceed to the Indian camp and take him with him. One Eye replied that he was perfectly willing to be detained a prisoner, as well as to
remain a hostage for the good faith of the Indians, but desired the major to start as soon as possible, for fear the Indians might
On the 6th day of September I was ordered to proceed with Major Wynkoop and his command in the direction of the Indian
encampment. After a four days' march, came in sight of the Indians, and one of the three Indians before mentioned was sent to
acquaint the chiefs with what was the object of the expedition, with the statement that Major Wynkoop desired to hold a consultation
with the chiefs. On the 10th day of September, 1864, the consultation was held between Major Wynkoop and his officers, and the
principal chiefs of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe nations. Major Wynkoop stated through me, to the chiefs, that he had received their
message; that acting on that, he had come to talk with them; asked them whether they all agreed to and indorsed the contents of the
letter which he had in his possession, and which had been brought in by One Eye. Receiving an answer in the affirmative, he then
told the chiefs that he had not the authority to conclude terms of peace with them, but that he desired to make a proposition to them
to the effect that if they would give him evidence of their good faith by delivering into his hands the white prisoners they had in their
possession, he would endeavor to procure for them peace, which would be subject to conditions that he would take with him what
principal chiefs they might select, and conduct them in safety to the governor of Colorado, and whatever might be the result of their
interview with him, return them in safety to their tribe.
Black Kettle, the head chief of the Cheyenne nation, replied as follows:
That the Cheyenne and Arapahoe nations had always endeavored to observe the terms of their treaty with the United States
government; that some years previously, when the white emigration first commenced coming to what is now the Territory of
Colorado, the country which was in possession of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe nations, they could have successfully made war
against them, the whites. They did not desire to do so--had invariably treated them with kindness, and had never, to their
knowledge, committed any destruction whatever; that until the last few months they had gotten along in perfect peace and harmony
with their white brethren, but while a hunting party of their young men were proceeding north, in the neighborhood of the South Platte
river, having found some loose stock belonging to white men, which they were taking to a ranch to deliver them up, they were
suddenly confronted by a party of United States soldiers and ordered to deliver up their arms. A difficulty immediately ensued, which
resulted in the killing and wounding several on both sides.
A short time after this occurrence took place, a village of pappooses, squaws and old men, located on what is known as the Cedar
cañon, a short distance north of the South Platte river, who were perfectly unaware of any difficulty having occurred between any
portion of their tribe, Cheyenne, and the whites, were attacked by a large party of soldiers, and some of them killed and their ponies
driven off. After this, while a body of United States troops were proceeding from the Smoky Hill to the Arkansas river, they reached
the neighborhood of Sean Bears' band of the Cheyenne nation. Sean Bears', second chief of the Cheyennes, approached the
column of troops alone, his warriors remaining off some distance, he not dreaming that there was any hostility between his nation
and the whites. He was immediately shot down, and fire opened upon his band; the result of which was a fight between the two
parties. Presuming from all these circumstances that war was inevitable, the young men of the Cheyenne nation commenced to
retaliate by committing various depredations all the time, which he, Black Kettle, and other principal chiefs of the Cheyenne nation,
was opposed to, and endeavored by all means in their power to restore pacific relations between that tribe and their white brethren,
but at various

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times, when endeavoring to approach the military post for the purpose of accomplishing the same, were fired upon and driven off. In
the mean time, while their brothers and allies, the Arapahoes, were on perfectly friendly terms with the whites, and Left Hand's band
of that nation were camped in close vicinity to Fort Larned, Left Hand, one of the principal chiefs of the Arapahoe nation, learning that
it was the intention of the Kiowas on a certain day to drive off the stock from Fort Larned, proceeded to the commanding officer of
that post and informed him of the fact. No attention was paid to the information he gave, and on the day indicated the Kiowas run off
the stock. Left Hand again approached the post with a portion of his warriors, for the purpose of offering his services to the
commanding officer there to pursue and endeavor to regain the stock from the Kiowa Indians, when he was fired upon and was
obliged hastily to leave.
The young men of the Arapahoe nation, supposing it was the intention of the whites to make war upon them as well as the
Cheyennes, also commenced retaliating as they were able, and against the desire of most of their principal chiefs, who, as well as
Black Kettle and other chiefs of the Cheyennes, were bitterly opposed to hostility with the whites.
He then said that he had lately heard of a proclamation issued by the governor of Colorado, inviting all friendly disposed Indians to
come in to the different military posts, and that they would be protected by the government. Under these circumstances, although he
thought the whites had been the aggressors and forced the trouble upon the Indians, and anxious for the welfare of his people, he
had made this last effort to communicate again with the military authority, and he was glad he succeeded.
He then arose, shook hands with Major Wynkoop and his officers, stating that he was still, as he always had been, a friend to the
whites, and, as far as he was concerned, he was willing to deliver up the white prisoners, or anything that was required of him; to
procure peace, knowing it to be for the good of his people, but that there were other chiefs who still thought that they were badly
treated by the "white brethren," who were willing to make peace, but who felt unwilling to deliver up the prisoners simply on the
promise of Major Wynkoop that he would endeavor to procure them peace. They desired that the delivering up the white prisoners
should be an assurance of peace. He also went on to state that even if Major Wynkoop's proposition was not accepted there by the
chiefs assembled, and although they had sufficient force to entirely overpower Major Wynkoop's small command, from the fact that
he had come in good faith to hold this consultation, he should return unmolested to Fort Lyon.
The expressions of other chiefs were to the effect that they insisted upon peace as the conditions of their delivering up the white
Major Wynkoop finally replied that he repeated what he had said before, that it was not in his power to insure them peace, and that
all he had to say in closing was that they might think about his proposition, that he would march to a certain locality, distant twelve
miles, and there await the result of their consultation for two days, advising them at the same time to accede to his proposition as
the best means of procuring that peace for which they were anxious.
The white prisoners were brought in and turned over to Major Wynkoop before the time had expired set by him, and Black Kettle,
White Antelope, and Bull Bear, of the Cheyenne nation, as well as Nevah, Nattanee, Borcu, and Heap Buffalo, of the Arapahoe
nation, all chiefs, delivered themselves over to Major Wynkoop. We then proceeded to Fort Lyon, and from there to Denver, Colorado
Territory, at which place Governor Evans held a consultation with these chiefs, the result of which was as follows:
He told them he had nothing to do with them; that they would return with Major Wynkoop, who would reconduct them in safety, and
they would have to

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await the action of military authorities. Colonel Chivington, then in command of the district, also told them that they would remain at
the disposal of Major Wynkoop until higher authority had acted in their case. The Indians appeared to be perfectly satisfied,
presuming that they would eventually be all right as soon as these authorities could be heard from, and expressed themselves so.
Black Kettle embraced the governor and Major Wynkoop, and shook hands with all the other officials present, perfectly contented,
deeming that the matter was settled. On our return to Fort Lyon I was told by Major Wynkoop to say to the chiefs that they could bring
their different bands, including their families, to the vicinity of the post until he had heard from the big chief; that he preferred to have
them under his eye and away from other quarters, where they were likely to get into difficulties with the whites.
The chiefs replied that they were willing to do anything Major Wynkoop might choose to dictate, as they had perfect confidence in
him. Accordingly, the chiefs went after their families and villages and brought them in; they appeared satisfied that they were in
perfect security and safety after their villages were located, and Major Wynkoop had sent an officer to headquarters for instructions.
He, Major Wynkoop, was relieved from command of the post by Major Scott J. Anthony, and I was ordered to interpret for him, Major
Anthony, in a consultation he desired to hold with these Indians. The consultation that then took place between Major Anthony and
these Indians was as follows:
Major Anthony told them that he had been sent here to relieve Major Wynkoop, and that he would from that time be in command of
this post; that he had come here under orders from the commanders of all the troops in this country, and that he had orders to have
nothing to do with Indians whatever, for they heard at headquarters that the Indians had lately been committing depredations, &c., in
the very neighborhood of this post, but that since his arrival he had learned that these reports were all false; that he would write to
headquarters himself and correct the rumor in regard to them, and that he would have no objection to their remaining in the vicinity
of Sand creek, where they were then located, until such a time as word might be received from the commander of the department;
that he himself would forward a complete statement of all that he had seen or heard in regard to them, and that he was in hopes
that he would have some good news for the Indians upon receiving an answer, but that he was sorry that his orders were such as to
render it impossible for him to make them any issues whatever.
The Indians then replied that it would be impossible for them to remain any great length of time, as they were short of provisions.
Major Anthony then told them that they could let their villages remain where they were and send their young men out to hunt buffalo,
as he understood that the buffaloes had lately come close in. The Indians appeared to be a little dissatisfied with the change in the
commanders of the post, fearing that it boded them no good; but having received assurances of safety from Major Anthony, they still
had no fears of their families being disturbed.
On the 26th of November I received permission from Major Scott J. Anthony, commanding post, to proceed to the Indian village on
Sand creek for the purpose of trading with the Indians, and started, accompanied by a soldier named David Louderback, and a
citizen, Watson Clark. I reached the village and commenced to trade with them. On the morning of the 29th of November the village
was attacked by Colonel J. M. Chivington with a command of from nine hundred to one thousand men. The Indian village numbered
about one hundred lodges, counting altogether five hundred souls, two-thirds of whom were women and children. From my
observation, I do not think there were over sixty Indians

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that made any defence. I rode over the field after the slaughter was over and counted from sixty to seventy dead bodies, a large
majority of which were women and children, all of whose bodies had been mutilated in the most horrible manner. When the troops
first approached, I endeavored to join them, but was repeatedly fired upon, as also the soldier and the citizen with me.
When the troops began approaching, I saw Black Kettle, the head chief, hoist the American flag over his lodge, as well as a white
flag, fearing there might be some mistake as to who they were. After the fight Colonel Chivington returned with his command in the
direction of Fort Lyon, and then proceeded down the Arkansas river.
U. S. Interpreter.

Sworn and subscribed to at Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, this 27th day of January, 1865.
Second Lieut. 1st New Mexico Vols., Post Adjutant.

March --, 1865.
________ __________, A. A. G.

January 16, 1865.
Personally appeared before me Lieutenant James D. Cannan, 1st New Mexico volunteer infantry, who, after being duly sworn, says:
That on the 28th day of November, 1864, I was ordered by Major Scott J. Anthony to accompany him on an Indian expedition as his
battalion adjutant. The object of that expedition was to be a thorough campaign against hostile Indians, as I was led to understand. I
referred to the fact of there being a friendly camp of Indians in the immediate neighborhood, and remonstrated against simply
attacking that camp, as I was aware that they were resting there in fancied security, under promises held out to them of safety from
Major G. W. Wynkoop, former commander of the post of Fort Lyon, as well as by Major S. J. Anthony, then in command. Our battalion
was attached to the command of Colonel J. M. Chivington, and left Fort Lyon on the night of the 28th of November, 1864. About
daybreak on the morning of the 29th of November we came in sight of the camp of the friendly Indians aforementioned, and was
ordered by Colonel Chivington to attack the same, which was accordingly done. The command of Colonel Chivington was
composed of about one thousand men. The village of the Indians consisted of from one hundred to one hundred and thirty lodges,
and, as far as I am able to judge, of from five hundred to six hundred souls, the majority of whom were women and children.
In going over the battle-ground the next day, I did not see a body of man, woman, or child but was scalped; and in many instances
their bodies were mutilated in the most horrible manner, men, women, and children--privates cut out, &c. I heard one man say that
he had cut a woman's private parts out, and had them for exhibition on a stick; I heard another man say that he had cut the fingers
off of an Indian to get the rings on the hand. According to the best of my knowledge and belief; these atrocities that were committed
were with the knowledge of J. M. Chivington, and I do not know of his taking any measures to prevent them. I heard of one instance
of a child a few

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months old being thrown in the feed-box of a wagon, and after being carried some distance, left on the ground to perish. I also
heard of numerous instances in which men had cut out the private parts of females, and stretched them over the saddle-bows, and
wore them over their hats, while riding in the ranks. All these matters were a subject of general conversation, and could not help
being known by Colonel J. M. Chivington.
First Lieutenant 1st Infantry, New Mexico Volunteers.

Sworn and subscribed to before me this 27th day of January, 1865, at Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory.
Second Lieut., 1st New Mexico Vols., Post Adjutant.

Deposition of Lieutenant Cannan, 1st New Mexico Volunteers.
Was ordered by Major Anthony to accompany him as his adjutant on an Indian expedition--object, thorough campaign. States that he
referred to the camp of friendly Indians, and remonstrated against attacking that camp.
About daybreak, November 29, Colonel Chivington ordered the attack; gives particulars of the barbarities of our men, cutting out
privates, &c.

________ __________,
Assistant Adjutant General.

January 16, 1865.
Personally appeared before me Captain R. A. Hill, 1st New Mexico volunteer infantry, who, after being duly sworn, says:
That, as an officer in the service of the United States, he was on duty at Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory; at the time there was an
understanding between the chiefs of the Arapahoe and Cheyenne nations and Major E. W. Wynkoop with regard to their resting in
safety with their villages in the vicinity of Fort Lyon until such time as orders in regard to them could be received from the
commanding general of the department; that after Major Wynkoop being relieved from the command of Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory,
the same understanding existed between Major Scott J. Anthony and the aforesaid Indians; that, to the best of his knowledge and
belief, the village of Indians massacred by Colonel J. M. Chivington on the 29th day of November, 1864, were the same friendly
Indians heretofore referred to.
Captain 1st Infantry, New Mexico Volunteers.

Sworn and subscribed to before me this 27th day of January, 1865.
Second Lieut. 1st New Mexico Vols., Post Adjutant.

Page 90

Deposition of Captain R. A. Hill, 1st New Mexico infantry.
Was on duty at Fort Lyon at time these Indians were camping near said fort; that they were then, by permission of Major Wynkoop
and Major Anthony, waiting until instructions could be received from headquarters how to act in their case.
To the best of his knowledge, these Indians were the same massacred by Colonel Chivington November 29.

________ __________,
Assistant Adjutant General.

January 27, 1865.
Personally appeared before me Second Lieutenant W. P. Minton, first regiment, New Mexico infantry volunteers, and Lieutenant C.
M. Cossitt, first cavalry of Colorado, who, after being duly sworn, say:
That on the 28th day of November, 1864, Colonel J. M. Chivington, with the third regiment of Colorado cavalry (one-hundred-days
men) and a battalion of the first cavalry of Colorado, arrived at this post, and on the 29th of November attacked a village of friendly
Indians in this vicinity, and, according to representations made by others in our presence, murdered their women and children, and
committed the most horrible outrages upon the dead bodies of the same; that the aforesaid Indians were recognized as friendly by
all parties at this post, under the following circumstances, viz:
That Major E. W. Wynkoop, formerly commander of the post, had given them assurances of safety until such time as he could hear
from the commanding general of the department in consequence of their having sued for peace, and given every evidence of their
sincerity by delivering up the white prisoners they had in their possession, by congregating their families together and leaving them
at the mercy of the garrison of Fort Lyon, who could have massacred them at any moment they felt so disposed; that upon Major
Wynkoop being relieved from the command of Fort Lyon and Major Scott J. Anthony assuming command of the same, it was still the
understanding between Major Anthony and the Indians that they could rest in the security guaranteed them by Major Wynkoop.

Also, that Colonel J. M. Chivington, on his arrival at the post of Fort Lyon, was aware of the circumstances in regard to these Indians,
from the fact that different officers remonstrated with him, and stated to him how these Indians were looked upon by the entire
garrison; that, notwithstanding these remonstrances, and in the face of all these facts, he committed the massacre aforementioned.
Second Lieut. 1st New Mexico Volunteers.
First Lieutenant 1st Cavalry of Colorado.

Sworn and subscribed to before me this 27th day of January, 1865.
Second Lieutenant 1st Colorado Veteran Cavalry,
Acting Regimental Adjutant.

________ __________,
Assistant Adjutant General.

Page 91

January 27, 1865.
Personally appeared before me Samuel G. Colley, who, being duly sworn, on oath deposes and says:
That he is now, and has been for the past three years, United States agent for the Arapahoe and Cheyenne Indians.
That in the month of June last he received instructions from Hon. John Evans, governor and ex-officio superintendent Indian affairs
for Colorado Territory, directing him to send out persons into the Indian country to distribute printed proclamations, (which he was
furnished with,) inviting all friendly Indians to come in to the different places designated in said proclamation, and they would be
protected and fed. That he caused the terms of said proclamation to be widely disseminated among the different tribes of Indians
under his charge, and that in accordance therewith a large number of Arapahoes and Cheyennes came into this post, and
provisions were issued to them by Major E. W. Wynkoop, commanding, and myself.
That on the 4th day of September last two Cheyenne Indians (One Eye and Manimick) came into this post with information that the
Arapahoes and Cheyennes had several white prisoners among them that they had purchased, and were desirous of giving them up
and making peace with the whites.
That on the 6th day of September following Major E. W. Wynkoop left this post with a detachment of troops to rescue said prisoners;
and that after an absence of several days he returned, bringing with him four white prisoners which he received from the Arapahoe
and Cheyenne Indians. He was accompanied on his return by a number of the most influential men of both tribes, who were
unanimously opposed to war with the whites, and desired peace at almost any terms that the whites might dictate.
That immediately upon the arrival of Major Wynkoop at this post large numbers of Arapahoes and Cheyennes came in and camped
near the post.
Major Wynkoop selected several of the most prominent chiefs of both nations and proceeded to Denver to council with
Superintendent Evans; after his return he held frequent councils with the Indians, and at all of them distinctly stated that he was not
empowered to treat with them, but that he had despatched a messenger to the headquarters of the department, stating their wishes
in the matter, and that as soon as he received advices from there he would inform them of the decision of General Curtis respecting
That until that time, if they placed themselves under his protection, they should not be molested. That the Indians remained quietly
near the post until the arrival of Major Anthony, who relieved Major Wynkoop.
Major Anthony held a council with the Indians, and informed them that he was instructed not to allow any Indians in or near the post,
but that he had found matters here much better than he had expected, and advised them to go out and camp on Sand creek until he
could hear from General Curtis. He wished them to keep him fully advised of all the movements of the Sioux, which they promptly
He also promised them that as soon as he heard from General Curtis he would advise them of his decision.
From the time that Major Wynkoop left this post to go out to rescue the white prisoners until the arrival of Colonel Chivington here,
which took place on the 28th of November last, no depredations of any kind had been committed by the Indians within two hundred
miles of this post.
That upon Colonel Chivington's arrival here with a large body of troops he was informed where these Indians were encamped, and
was fully advised under what circumstances they had come in to this post, and why they were then on Sand creek. That he was
remonstrated with both by officers and civilians at

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this post against making war upon those Indians. That he was informed and fully advised that there was a large number of friendly
Indians there, together with several white men who were there at the request of himself (Colley) and by permission of Major
Anthony. That notwithstanding his knowledge of the facts as above set forth, he is informed that Colonel Chivington did, on the
morning of the 29th of November last, surprise and attack said camp of friendly Indians, and massacre a large number of them,
(mostly women and children,) and did allow the troops under his command to mangle and mutilate them in the most horrible
United States Indian Agent.

Sworn and subscribed to before me this 28th day of January, 1865, at Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory.
Second Lieut. 1st New Mexico Vols., Post Adjutant.

St. Louis, --------- --, 186-.
Deposition of Samuel G. Colley, United States agent for the Arapahoe and Cheyenne Indians, says that in June last, obedient to
instructions from Governor Evans, Colorado Territory, he distributed printed proclamations through the Indian country, inviting all
friendly Indians to come to the different places designated in said proclamation. That the Indians in question came to Fort Lyon;
provisions were issued to them by Major Wynkoop. That two of the chiefs reported they had several white prisoners which they
purchased, and which they wished to give up. That Major Wynkoop, on the 6th of September, went and rescued the prisoners. On
his return, was accompanied by influential men of both tribes unanimously for peace at any terms almost the whites might dictate.
Major Wynkoop proceeded with the chiefs to council with Governor Evans. Major Wynkoop repeatedly stated that he had not the
power to treat with them, but was waiting instructions from General Curtis, and until that time he would protect-them. These Indians
kept the commander of the post fully advised of the movements of the Sioux. No depredations were committed within two hundred
miles of the post while these Indians were in the vicinity of the post.
Upon Colonel Chivington's arrival he was informed where the Indians were and advised of the circumstances that brought them. He
was remonstrated with by officers and civilians against making war. Notwithstanding Colonel Chivington's knowledge of these
facts, on the 29th November he surprised and attacked said camp of friendly Indians, killed a large number, mostly women, and
allowed his troops to mangle and mutilate bodies.

Deposition of Lieutenants Minton and Cossitt.
Colonel Chivington, with 3d Colorado cavalry and battalion of 1st Colorado cavalry, attacked, on the 29th November, a village of
friendly Indians, and, according to representation, murdered women and children in horrible manner. Indians were recognized
friendly. They were there and on assurance from

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Major Wynkoop of safety. Indians earned the friendship by giving up white prisoners. Colonel Chivington was acquainted with
circumstances, and was remonstrated with against, &c.

________ __________,
Assistant Adjutant General.

January 27, 1865.
Personally appeared before me Private David Louderback, 1st cavalry of Colorado, and R. W. Clark, citizen, who, after being duly
sworn, say:
That they accompanied John Smith, United States Indian interpreter, on the 26th day of November, 1864, by permission of Major
Scott J. Anthony, commanding post of Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, to the village of the friendly Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians, on
Sand creek, close to Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, he, John Smith, having received permission to trade with the aforesaid friendly
Indians; that on the morning of the 29th day of November, 1864, the said Indian village was attacked, while deponents were in the
same, by Colonel J. M. Chivington, with a command of about 1,000 men; that, according to their best knowledge and belief, the
entire Indian village was composed of not more than 500 souls, two-thirds of which were women and children; that the dead bodies
of women and children were afterwards mutilated in the most horrible manner; that it was the understanding of the deponents, and
the general understanding of the garrison of Fort Lyon, that this village were friendly Indians; that they had been allowed to remain in
the locality they were then in by permission of Major Wynkoop, former commander of the post, and by Major Anthony, then in
command, as well as from the fact that permission had been given John Smith and the deponents to visit the said camp for the
purpose of trading.

Sworn and subscribed to before me this 27th day of January, 1865.
Second Lieut. New Mexico Vols., Post Adjutant.

Deposition of David Louderback, 1st Colorado cavalry, and R. W. Clark, citizen.
They were in camp of Indians with John Smith, interpreter, who had permission to trade with the Indians. On the morning of 29th
November camp was attacked by Colonel Chivington's command of 1,000 men, while they were in camp; dead bodies of women
and children were horribly mutilated; that it was their understanding, and general understanding of garrison Fort Lyon, that these
Indians were friendly; that they were allowed to remain there by Major Wynkoop and Major Anthony.

________ __________,
Assistant Adjutant General.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, February 14, 1865.
Resolutions of Kansas legislature, requesting the Secretary of War to place a sufficient force under General Curtis to enable him to
protect the Kansas frontier and the overland and Santa Fé routes.
Referred to General HALLECK, chief of staff, February 14, 1865.
Copy sent to General GRANT some days ago.
Major General, and Chief of Staff.

March 18, 1865.
J. C. KELTON, Colonel, A. A. G.

CONCURRENT RESOLUTIONS in relation to the overland travel and the settlers upon the frontier.
Whereas the Indian massacres which occurred upon the border of our State during the summer and fall of 1864, and which are
now being re-enacted by the hostile tribes of Indians upon the overland route to California, Nevada, and New Mexico, and the
Territories of Colorado and Idaho, interfere and retard the settlement and development of the mineral resources of these Territories,
and interrupt the overland communication to and from the Pacific and the Territories of Colorado and Idaho; and whereas the
military force on said route is entirely inadequate and insufficient to chastise the hostile tribes of Indians, and to keep them from
committing their murderous attacks upon emigrants to those Territories and Pacific States, and to keep the line of communication
open from the Missouri river, in the State of Kansas, to said States of California and Nevada, and Territories of Colorado and Idaho
and New Mexico; and whereas it is necessary to the settlement of the northern and western portion of our State that the hostile
tribes of Indians be prevented, if possible, from committing their murderous attacks upon our frontier settlers and the overland mail:
Be it resolved by the house of representatives of the State of Kansas, (the senate concurring therein,) That the Secretary of War be,
and he is hereby, requested to place a sufficient military force in the hands of Major General Curtis, commanding this department, to
enable him to give sufficient and ample protection to the frontier of Kansas and the overland and Santa Fé routes.
Resolved, That the secretary of state be instructed to forward copies of this preamble and resolution to the Secretary of War and our
senators and representatives in Congress.
Passed by both houses.
D. M. EMMERT, Chief Clerk.

I, R. A. Barker, secretary of state, do hereby certify that the above is a true and correct copy of a concurrent resolution, the original of
which is on file in my office.

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In testimony whereof, I have set my hand and affixed the official seal of my office this 21st day of January, A. D. 1865.
Secretary of State.

Official copy:
Colonel and Assistant Adjutant General.

Denver, February 13, 1865.
GENERAL: The condition of military affairs in this Territory for the last three months has caused quite a stir at home, and a very great
commotion abroad, and justly so. To enable you to properly appreciate the wants and necessities of this people, so as to apply a
remedy; to arrive at a desirable conclusion as to the cause of existing hostilities on the part of the Indians; to define my position as
district commander, and to lay before you the many difficulties and embarrassments which I have had to contend against since
assuming command, as well as to inform you of the steps taken, and the means provided for carrying out the behests of' the
government and protection of this Territory, I deem it my duty, first duty, to give you a concise history of events which may be relied
upon for present information and future guidance. Had I been possessed of certain facts from reliable sources when I assumed
command of this district, on the 4th of January, but a little over a month ago, it might have been possible to arrange matters so as to
have fended off part, at least, of the present troubles, which will have (if not, indeed, already) one good effect, viz: to change the policy
of the government respecting the treatment of the Indians on the plains. Whatever may have been the origin of the present
difficulties, whether the white men or the red were the aggressors, matters not now. We are in every respect the superior of the
Indians, and can afford to wage a war of their own choosing.
When I assumed command of this district there were but about two hundred (200) men all told, and they were scattered over an
area of three hundred (300) miles, and yet with this command, I was expected to protect the route from Denver to Julesburg, a
distance of one hundred and ninety (190) miles, while only forty (40) of the two hundred (200) soldiers were on that line, stationed
forty (40) miles from Denver. The balance were on the Arkansas river and at Fort Garland. My district extends about sixty (60) miles
on the overland route from Denver, and yet I am called upon to protect as far as Julesburg, in the northeast corner of Colorado
Territory, with no troops at my command, while on the north there are plenty, as also from Julesburg to Kearney, which, in my
opinion, from what I have seen of them, and heard from reliable sources, had better be sent to some new field of operations. I have
special reference to the stations from Kearney to Julesburg. I cannot say who is to blame for this, but it is not the less true. I see
every reason why the district of Colorado should embrace the Territory, and none for it being as it now stands defined. Fort Lyon was
not in my command when I arrived here, and has but lately been added, which gives me about two hundred and fifty (250) more
effective men in the district, but not for operations on the overland route, as they are needed in the southern portion of the Territory to
protect the Santa Fé route.
About the end of December, 1864, the 3d regiment Colorado cavalry (one-

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hundred-days men) were mustered out of the service, thus denuding the district of troops, and at a time, too, when the Indians had
suffered an overwhelming defeat, or been subjected to a wholesale massacre at the hands of Colonel Chivington, then
commanding district; (I give you these distinctions, as the people here are divided on the question;) at a time when the Indians were
burning for revenge on the white men, women, and children, in retaliation for the killed by Colonel Chivington, commanding, for it is
useless to deny this fact; at a time when the severity of the winter prevented the making of a campaign with any hope of success on
our side, even had the troops been at my command. In view of these facts, and knowing, as he did, that the Territory would be
exposed to Indian assaults and depredations, while denuded of troops, I question much the policy and propriety of the Sand creek
battle fought by Colonel Chivington on the 29th of November, 1864. This matter is now under investigation by a commission
appointed under instructions from Major General Curtis, so that in course of time it will speak for itself.
After having become possessed of all these facts, I looked around to see what could be done in the premises to save the country. I
first made a statement to Major General Curtis, which, by the way, has never been acknowledged, and impressed upon him the
necessity for making certain changes and of hurrying out re-enforcements. Finding no response or relief from that quarter, I next
called upon the governor regarding the turning out of the militia, which was deemed impracticable, owing to the fact that the law has
so many defections. I then suggested to the legislature, which was in session, the propriety of amending the militia law, but no
answer came or action taken. In consultation with the governor and other prominent men of the Territory, it was deemed most
expedient and best to urge the passage of a bill issuing territorial bonds, which could be cashed at par by moneyed men, and the
same used to pay volunteers a bounty for three (3) months' service, and purchase horses on which to mount them, (for there are
none in the quartermaster's hands, nor any money to purchase them with;) and these men were to be placed under my command,
and used in opening and keeping open the overland stage route. The house and council could not agree on this bill; so after over
two weeks' delay, and no good resulted from their action, I was compelled to proclaim martial law, shut up all houses of business,
stop all labor and traffic, and keep matters so until they furnished me three hundred and sixty (360) mounted men, which I would
arm and equip. These men are now being raised, and I expect by the 20th to have the most of them in the field. My position has
been, and is, anything but a pleasant one--isolated from all support, a stranger in the land, cut off from all communication,
threatened and attacked by hostile Indians, being in a community divided against itself, and compelled to proclaim martial law, with
not a man at my back to enforce obedience to the same; yet I have succeeded by first stirring up the public mind, and preparing it for
the result which had to follow, unless I chose to back down, and yield my authority, which no living soldier will do.
I enclose, for your information on-this subject, copies of a correspondence between myself, the governor, and the legislature on
these troubles, also an article from the Journal, a newspaper published in the mountains, which will define to you my position, and
show you what I have had to contend with. I made it my business to visit the mountains officially on the very day when excitement
was at the highest pitch. On the day but one after that article was written I addressed a meeting of about fifteen hundred (1,500)
citizens, in which I pointed out to them at whose door the blame lay, the duties they owed themselves and the government, and my
reasons for proclaiming martial law. I was unanimously sustained, and that night one hundred and twenty (120) men were sworn in
for three months. This was the quota required by the governor to fill my call.

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I enclose you a copy of the order establishing martial law, as also the governor's call in accordance therewith. To assert your
authority here, in trying cases, is very different from asserting it in any other portion of the Union.
Men of influence and wealth in the east are interested to a very great amount in the mining companies, so that they readily obtain an
official ear in Washington to a one-sided story, which invariably works injustice to those in authority and responsible. I therefore
respectfully ask, general, that you forward this, or a copy, to Washington, that I may stand right on the record.
I am not afraid to assume any responsibility commensurate with the surrounding circumstances, and which is for the good of the
service; but I am afraid of the snake-like winding of hypocrisy, backed by a grovelling, sensual desire. If men will adhere to truth, I
will cheerfully abide every issue.
In the hope this will prove satisfactory and of use to you in your administration, and satisfy your mind regarding my position and the
steps I have taken in the premises,
I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel 11th Kansas Cavalry, Commanding.

Major General G. M. DODGE,
Commanding Department of the Missouri,
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Denver, January 7, 1865.
SIR: As matters now stand in this district (having in a manner no troops) there is great danger of being overrun by the Indians.
Troops could at the present time be raised better than at any other time, and now is the time we require them. Will you, as acting
governor, communicate with the authorities on the subject (the governor being in Washington) to obtain this authority? It is of
immense importance to the Territory, and the only way to receive speedy relief from the danger surrounding, and prevent starvation.
I submit this for your consideration and action, and my name may be used by you in this connexion on your despatches.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel 11th Kansas Cavalry, Commanding.

Denver, C. T., January 8, 1865.
SIR: Owing to the depredations of Indians, we are, at present, shut up from telegraphic communications with the east, and,
therefore, beyond the reach of immediate support from any quarter, leaving us to ourselves to act in the premises. Should the
troubles continue, I will be constrained to call on the able-bodied men to muster for the protection of the line of transportation. If you
have any special views on the subject, I would be pleased to have them.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel 11th Kansas Cavalry, Commanding.
Hon. S. H. ELBERT,
Secretary and Acting Governor.
Part VI-----7

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Denver, January 9, 1865.
GENTLEMEN: Learning that the legislative body of Colorado Territory is now in session, I respectfully suggest for your consideration
the propriety of immediately reorganizing the militia law. Your country is in a manner isolated from the balance of the federal
government, on which you depend for supplies Your line of transportation is now inoperative, and it devolves upon you, the
representatives of the people, to take a step in a direction that will insure you at least, an active and efficient militia force to guard
over your interests. As matters now stand, the militia must be called out sooner or later, and I make these suggestions that there
may be no misunderstanding between the civil and military.
Gentlemen, pardon my intrusion, I mean it for your good.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel 11th Kansas Cavalry, Commanding.
Colorado City, Colorado Territory.

Denver, January 17, 1865.
SIR: By reason of the scarcity of troops in this district, our natural enemies the Indians, have possessed themselves of our lines of
communication. They have burned ranches, killed innocent women and children, destroyed government property wherever it was
found, driven off the stage stock, killed the drivers and passengers travelling on the coaches; in short, they are making it a war of
extermination. We may look in vain for such timely military assistance as will protect the lives and property of settlers; nor can we
hope for an eastern communication this winter, unless the citizens of' the Territory band themselves together in a military
organization, and spring to arms at your call as chief executive. The blood of the innocent and unoffending martyrs cries aloud for
vengeance, and starvation stares in the face the living. You nor I cannot longer remain inactive, and be considered guiltless. It
devolves upon the militia, as matters now stand to open the overland route, and keep it open until troops can be had from the east
to make war on these savages of the plains, until there remains not a vestige of their originality. On behalf of the general
government, and on my own responsibility, (trusting to the justice of the cause for my own protection,) I will furnish carbines to the
first mounted and accepted company, and rifled weapons of improved pattern to all the balance; also, rations for the same as
United States troops, and forage for the animals, with the proper allowance of transportation, and also horse equipments. My
scouts inform me that the Indian spies are now prowling around the very skirts of this place, so that, in addition to your call for militia
for field service, the city companies should at once be placed on a war footing, having daily drills, with appointed places of
rendezvous, that we may not be caught napping.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel 11th Kansas Cavalry, Commanding.
Hon. S. H. ELBERT,
Acting Governor, Colorado Territory.

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Denver, January 25, 1865.
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of yesterday, from Golden City, making inquiries as to the
number of troops in this district, and the disposition made of them. I will cheerfully give you the desired information.
At Fort Lyon, which has lately been placed in my district, there are about 300 men. The mustering officer, Captain J. C. Anderson,
has but returned after completing the organization of the 1st regiment, by consolidating it into six maximum companies. About forty
men are at Fort Garland, but these now will be increased to 100. About forty men are at Camp Fillmore, but these will be increased
to 100 also, as companies will be stationed together at posts so remote. One company will be stationed here of 100 men in place
of the stragglers now doing duty. One company will be divided and stationed at Bijou Basin and Living Springs. This leaves only two
companies at Fort Lyon. In addition to these, there are about seventy-five (75) recruits of the 2d Colorado; part of them are now at or
near Junction, and the balance will join in a few days. There are about sixty men now at Valley Station, but these must be changed,
owing to the new organization. There are about 500 men, all told, for duty, scattered from Fort Lyon, via Garland, Fillmore, Denver,
and on route to Valley Station, a distance of about 450 miles.
The committee will see from this that so widely spread are the troops, that, even in a case of emergency, it would not be possible to
get together more than 200 men in thirty-six hours.
Trusting this may be of service to you in your proceedings, I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel 11th Kansas Cavalry, Commanding.
Chairman of Committee on Military Affairs.

Denver, January 31, 1865.
SIR: I have been looking eagerly and waiting patiently for the passage of the bill which was designed to relieve the people of this
Territory from the ravages of the Indians. That bill was introduced at my suggestion, as the most feasible of all plans to raise troops
rapidly and voluntarily for the opening of the overland route, and the keeping of it open until succor could arrive from the States. The
Indians are every day becoming more desperate, and to-day there stands not a ranch, out of the many that were between Valley
Station and Julesburg, and but very few on this side, and all since the introduction of that bill. I trusted implicitly in the patriotism and
fidelity of the legislature, and that their wisdom and judgment would at once foresee the necessity of taking steps to defend their
homes, their little ones, and the property of the people whom they represent. Am I mistaken? God forbid! Yet every indication of late
seems to blight my fondest hopes. I cannot longer await the action of your honorable body, for this night's despatches from Junction
inform me that about three thousand (3,000) Indians are marching up the Platte on both sides. Unless the legislature, within
forty-eight hours, does something to relieve suffering humanity, and save this country from ruin and devastation, I will be compelled,
much against my will, to proclaim martial law, shut up all houses of business, and force every man able to bear arms into the ranks,
and send them

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out to protect their brethren, kill off the Indians, and establish permanent communication with the east. I cannot quietly look on and
perform my duty to this people, my country, and my God.
I have weighed this matter well in my own mind, and what I have stated is my firm resolve, with a lingering hope that your honorable
body will yet, and immediately, save this Territory from destruction, and themselves from the indignation of an infuriated people.
I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel 11th Kansas Cavalry, Commanding.

Denver, February 4, 1865.
DEAR SIR: I send this communication by special messenger, and respectfully ask that an answer to this, as well as that of January
31, ultimo, be returned. Time passes, and the danger increases--hence the urgency of my request.
I have been informed from various sources that a portion of the house took exceptions to my letter of the 31st of January, as being
threatening and coercive in its tone. Permit me to say that nothing was further from my mind or intention. Liberty is a boon I prize too
highly to willfully deprive others of its blessing, and the course that I fear I must pursue for the salvation of this people is forced upon
me by a combination of circumstances which, in my humble opinion, the legislature might, within the past two weeks, have
scattered to the winds. This they have not done; therefore I must do something.
On invitation of your honorable body, and on the speaker's stand, in their presence, did I make known my feelings on the Indian
question. There I urged the passage of that bill, and there I told them that I was opposed to martial law. My acts have not belied my
words; but the time has come when "patience ceases to be a virtue," and when inactivity is a willful "dereliction of duty." So far, I have
been patient in the extreme, though not inactive. I have nothing to retract in my letter of January 31, but will adhere closely to my
decision. I may err in addressing the house, and not the council. Should such be the case, it must be attributed to my ignorance of
parliamentary rules, for I suppose that a measure of this kind would be acted upon in joint ballot.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel 11th Kansas Cavalry, Commanding.
Golden City, Colorado Territory.

Denver, Colorado Territory, February 6, 1865.
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 4th instant, (in behalf of the house of which you are
an honorable member,) in which I am informed that the bill authorizing the issuing of $200,000 bonds for the purpose of mounting
the militia called for, paying the bounty, &c., was not likely to pass; and also that a bill was likely to pass, (superseding the bond bill,)
giving bounties to men who would enlist in the two Colorado regiments now in the field, and also that it had been represented to the
house, as coming

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from me, that a sufficient number of men could be obtained in this way, so as to avoid the necessity of proclaiming martial law.
In reply, I would state that I am very sorry the bond bill did not pass over two weeks ago, for, to my mind, it was the surest and most
honorable way that men could be raised and horses procured. I have never stated that a sufficient number of men could be enlisted
for the old regiments, so as to meet the exigencies of the case; and even could these men be persuaded to enlist, I have not at
present the horses on which to mount them. I should be pleased to see a bill pass authorizing the payment of a liberal bounty to
recruits for the 1st and 2d Colorado regiments, for I think the regiments might be recruited up to the maximum; but I am sorry to say
that such a bill at this late hour would not meet the necessities of the times. Men and horses must be had immediately, or else we
must yield ourselves living sacrifices to inhuman savages; and who of us all are prepared to do this? I beg of you not to defeat the
bounty bill because of the lateness of the hour which gave it birth, for, in my estimation, it will be of great assistance and good. I am
more than sorry that I have now no other alternative but to proclaim martial law and suspend all business until a sufficient number
of men (mounted) are had to open the overland road and protect the frontier settlers of the Territory. When I modified martial law, as
it existed under the former district commander, I never expected to be compelled to recreate it with renewed severity.
Accept my thanks for your courtesy, and believe me, with esteem and respect, your obedient servant,
Colonel 11th Kansas Cavalry, Commanding.
Chairman of Military Committee.

St. Louis, Missouri, March 9, 1865.
A true copy:
_______ ________, A. A. G.

Testimony of Colonel J. M. Chivington.

Interrogatories propounded to John M. Chivington by the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, and answers thereto given by
said Chivington reduced to writing, and subscribed and sworn to before Alexander W. Atkins, notary public, at Denver, in the Territory
of Colorado.
1st question. What is your place of residence, your age and profession?
Answer. My place of residence is Denver, Colorado; my age, forty-five years; I have been colonel of 1st Colorado cavalry, and was
mustered out of the service on or about the eighth day of January last, and have not been engaged in any business since that time.
2d question. Were you in November, 1864, in any employment, civil or military, under the authority of the United States; and if so,
what was that employment, and what position did you hold?
Answer. In November, 1864, I was colonel of 1st Colorado cavalry, and in command of the district of Colorado.
3d question. Did you, as colonel in command of Colorado troops, about the 29th of November, 1864, make an attack on an Indian
village or camp at a place known

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as Sand creek? If so, state particularly the number of men under your command; how armed and equipped; whether mounted or
not; and if you had any artillery, state the number of guns, and the batteries to which they belonged.
Answer. On the 29th day of November, 1864, the troops under my command attacked a camp of Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians at
a place known as Big Bend of Sandy, about forty miles north of Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory. There were in my command at that
time about (500) five hundred men of the 3d regiment Colorado cavalry, under the immediate command of Colonel George L.
Shoup, of said 3d regiment, and about (250) two hundred and fifty men of the 1st Colorado cavalry; Major Scott J. Anthony
commanded one battalion of said 1st regiment, and Lieutenant Luther Wilson commanded another battalion of said 1st regiment.
The 3d regiment was armed with rifled muskets, and Star's and Sharp's carbines. A few of the men of that regiment had revolvers.
The men of the 1st regiment were armed with Star's and Sharp's carbines and revolvers. The men of the 3d regiment were poorly
equipped; the supply of blankets, boots, hats, and caps was deficient. The men of the 1st regiment were well equipped; all these
troops were mounted. I had four 12-pound mountain howitzers, manned by detachments from cavalry companies; they did not
belong to any battery company.
4th question. State as nearly as you can the number of Indians that were in the village or camp at the time the attack was made; how
many of them were warriors; how many of them were old men, how many of them were women, and how many of them were
Answer. From the best and most reliable information I could obtain, there were in the Indian camp, at the time of the attack, about
eleven (11) or twelve (12) hundred Indians; of these about seven hundred were warriors, and the remainder were women and
children. I am not aware that there were any old men among them. There was an unusual number of males among them, for the
reason that the war chiefs of both nations were assembled there evidently for some special purpose.
5th question. At what time of the day or night was the attack made? Was it a surprise to the Indians? What preparation, if any, had
they made for defence or offence?
Answer. The attack was made about sunrise. In my opinion the Indians were surprised; they began, as soon as the attack was
made, to oppose my troops, however, and were soon fighting desperately. Many of the Indians were armed with rifles and many with
revolvers; I think all had bows and arrows. They had excavated trenches under the bank of Sand creek, which in the vicinity of the
Indian camp is high, and in many places precipitous. These trenches were two to three feet deep, and, in connexion with the banks,
were evidently designed to protect the occupants from the fire of an enemy. They were found at various points extending along the
banks of the creek for several miles from the camp; there were marks of the pick and shovel used in excavating them; and the fact
that snow was seen in the bottoms of some of the trenches, while all snow had disappeared from the surface of the country
generally, sufficiently proved that they had been constructed some time previously. The Indians took shelter in these trenches as
soon as the attack was made, and from thence resisted the advance of my troops.
6th question. What number did you lose in killed, what number in wounded, and what number in missing?
Answer. There were seven men killed, forty-seven wounded, and one was missing.
7th question. What number of Indians were killed; and what number of the killed were women, and what number were children?
Answer. From the best information I could obtain, I judge there were five hundred or six hundred Indians killed; I cannot state
positively the number

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killed, nor can I state positively the number of women and children killed. Officers who passed over the field, by my orders, after the
battle, for the purpose of ascertaining the number of Indians killed, report that they saw but few women or children dead, no more
than would certainly fall in an attack upon a camp in which they were. I myself passed over some portions of the field after the fight,
and I saw but one woman who had been killed, and one who had hanged herself; I saw no dead children. From all I could learn, I
arrived at the conclusion that but few women or children had been slain. I am of the opinion that when the attack was made on the
Indian camp the greater number of squaws and children made their escape, while the warriors remained to fight my troops.
8th question. State, as nearly as you can, the number of Indians that were wounded, giving the number of women and the number of
children among the wounded.
Answer. I do not know that any Indians were wounded that were not killed; if there were any wounded, I do not think they could have
been made prisoners without endangering the lives of soldiers; Indians usually fight as long as they have strength to resist. Eight
Indians fell into the hands of the troops alive, to my knowledge; these, with one exception, were sent to Fort Lyon and properly cared
9th question. What property was captured by the forces under your command? State the number of horses, mules and poneys,
buffalo robes, blankets, and also all other property taken, specifying particularly the kinds, quality, and value thereof.
Answer. There were horses, mules, and poneys captured to the number of about six hundred. There were about one hundred
buffalo robes taken. Some of this stock had been stolen by the Indians from the government during last spring, summer and fall,
and some of the stock was the property of private citizens from whom they had been stolen during the same period. The horses that
belonged to the government were returned to the officers responsible for them; as nearly as could be learned, the horses and
mules that were owned by private citizens were returned to them on proof of ownership being furnished; such were my orders at
least. The poneys, horses, and mules for which no owner could be found, were put into the hands of my provost marshal in the field,
Captain J. J. Johnson, of company E, 3d Colorado cavalry, with instructions to drive them to Denver and turn them over to the acting
quartermaster as captured stock, taking his receipt therefor. After I arrived in Denver I again directed Captain Johnson to turn these
animals over to Captain Gorton, assistant quartermaster, as captured stock, which I presume he did. Colonel Thos. Moonlight
relieved me of the command of the district soon after I arrived in Denver, that is to say, on the ---- day of --------, A.D. 186-, and I was
mustered out of the service, the term of service of my regiment having expired. My troops were not fully supplied with hospital
equipage, having been on forced marches. The weather was exceedingly cold, and additional covering for the wounded became
necessary; I ordered the buffalo robes to be used for that purpose. I know of no other property of value being captured. It is alleged
that groceries were taken from John Smith, United States Indian interpreter for Upper Arkansas agency, who was in the Indian camp
at the time of the attack, trading goods, powder, lead, caps, &c., to the Indians. Smith told me that these groceries belonged to
Samuel G. Colby, United States Indian agent. I am not aware that these things were taken; I am aware that Smith and D. D. Colby,
son of the Indian agent, have each presented claims against the government for these articles. The buffalo robes mentioned above
were also claimed by Samuel G. Colby, D. D. Colby and John Smith. One bale of buffalo robes was marked S. S. Soule, 1st
Colorado cavalry, and I am informed that one bale was marked Anthony, Major Anthony being in command of Fort Lyon at

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that time. I cannot say what has been done with the property since I was relieved of the command and mustered out of service.
There was a large quantity of Indian trinkets taken at the Indian camp which were of no value. The soldiers retained a few of these
as trophies; the remainder with the Indian lodges were destroyed.
10th question. What reason had you for making the attack? What reasons, if any, had you to believe that Black Kettle or any other
Indian or Indians in the camp entertained feelings of hostility towards the whites. Give in detail the names of all Indians so believed
to be hostile, with the dates and places of their hostile acts, so far as you may be able to do so.
Answer. My reason for making the attack on the Indian camp was, that I believed the Indians in the camp were hostile to the whites.
That they were of the same tribes with those who had murdered many persons and destroyed much valuable property on the Platte
and Arkansas rivers during the previous spring, summer and fall was beyond a doubt. When a tribe of Indians is at war with the
whites it is impossible to determine what party or band of the tribe or the name of the Indian or Indians belonging to the tribe so at
war are guilty of the acts of hostility. The most that can be ascertained is that Indians of the tribe have performed the acts. During the
spring, summer and fall of the year 1864, the Arapaho and Cheyenne Indians, in some instances assisted or led on by Sioux,
Kiowas, Comanches and Apaches, had committed many acts of hostility in the country lying between the Little Blue and the Rocky
mountains and the Platte and Arkansas rivers. They had murdered many of the whites and taken others prisoners, and had
destroyed valuable property, probably amounting to $200,000 or $300,000. Their rendezvous was on the headwaters of the
Republican, probably one hundred miles from where the Indian camp was located. I had every reason to believe that these Indians
were either directly or indirectly concerned in the outrages which had been committed upon the whites. I had no means of
ascertaining what were the names of the Indians who had committed these outrages other than the declarations of the Indians
themselves; and the character of Indians in the western country for truth and veracity, like their respect for the chastity of women who
may become prisoners in their hands, is not of that order which is calculated to inspire confidence in what they may say. In this view
I was supported by Major Anthony, 1st Colorado cavalry, commanding at Fort Lyon, and Samuel G. Colby, United States Indian
agent, who, as they had been in communication with these Indians, were more competent to judge of their disposition towards the
whites than myself. Previous to the battle they expressed to me the opinion that the Indians should be punished. We found in the
camp the scalps of nineteen (19) white persons. One of the surgeons informed me that one of these scalps had been taken from
the victim's head not more than four days previously. I can furnish a child captured at the camp ornamented with six white women's
scalps; these scalps must have been taken by these Indians or furnished to them for their gratification and amusement by some of
their brethren, who, like themselves, were in amity with the whites.
11th question. Had you any, and if so, what reason, to believe that Black Kettle and the Indians with him, at the time of your attack,
were at peace with the whites, and desired to remain at peace with them?
Answer. I had no reason to believe that Black Kettle and the Indians with him were in good faith at peace with the whites. The day
before the attack Major Scott J. Anthony, 1st Colorado cavalry, then in command at Fort Lyon, told me that these Indians were hostile;
that he had ordered his sentinels to fire on them if they attempted to come into the post, and that the sentinels had fired on them;
that he was apprehensive of an attack from these Indians, and had taken every precaution to prevent a surprise. Major Samuel G.
Colby, United States Indian agent for these Indians, told me on the same day that he

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had done everything in his power to make them behave themselves, and that for the last six months he could do nothing with them;
that nothing but a sound whipping would bring a lasting peace with them. These statements were made to me in the presence of
the officers of my staff whose statements can be obtained to corroborate the foregoing.
12th question. Had you reason to know or believe that these Indians had sent their chief and leading men at any time to Denver city,
in order to take measure in connection with the superintendent of Indian affairs there, or with any other person having authority, to
secure friendly relations with the whites?
Answer. I was present at an interview between Governor Evans on the part of the whites, and Black Kettle and six other Indians, at
Camp Weld, Denver, about the 27th of September, 1864, in which the Indians desired peace, but did not propose terms. General
Curtis, by telegraph to me, declined to make peace with them, and said that there could be no peace without his consent. Governor
Evans declined to treat with them, and as General Curtis was then in command of the department, and, of course, I could not
disobey his instructions. General Curtis's terms of peace were to require all bad Indians to be given up, all stock stolen by the
Indians to be delivered up, and hostages given by the Indians for their good conduct. The Indians never complied with these terms.
13th question. Were those Indians, to your knowledge, referred by the superintendent of Indian affairs to the military authorities, as
the only power under the government to afford them protection?
Answer. Governor Evans, in the conference mentioned in my last answer, did not refer the Indians to the military authorities for
protection, but for terms of peace. He told the Indians "that he was the peace chief, that they had gone to war, and, therefore, must
deal with the war chiefs." It was at this time I gave them the terms of General Curtis, and they said they had not received power to
make peace on such terms, that they would report to their young men and see what they would say to it; they would like to do it, but if
their young men continued the war they would have to go with them. They said there were three or four small war parties of their
young men out on the war path against the whites at that time. This ended the talk.
14th question. Did the officer in command of Fort Lyon, to your knowledge, at any time extend the protection of our flag to Black Kettle
and the Indians with him, and direct them to encamp upon the reservation of the fort?
Answer. Major E. W. Wynkoop, 1st cavalry, Colorado, did, as I have been informed, allow some of these Indians to camp at or near
Fort Lyon, and did promise them the protection of our flag. Subsequently he was relieved of the command of Fort Lyon, and Major
Anthony placed in command at that post, who required the Indians to comply with General Curtis's terms, which they failed to do,
and thereupon Major Anthony drove them away from the post.
15th question. Were rations ever issued to these Indians either as prisoners of war or otherwise?
Answer. I have been informed that Major Wynkoop issued rations to the Indians encamped near Fort Lyon while he was in
command, but whether as prisoners of war I do not know. I think that Major Anthony did not issue any rations.
16th question. And did those Indians remove, in pursuance of the directions, instructions, or suggestions of the commandant at Fort
Lyon, to the place on Sand creek, where they were attacked by you?
Answer. I have been informed that Major Anthony, commandant at Fort Lyon, did order the Indians to remove from that post, but I am
not aware that they were ordered to go to the place where the battle was fought, or to any other place.
17th. question. What measures were taken by you, at any time, to render the attack on those Indians a surprise?
Part VI-----8

Page 106

Answer. I took every precaution to render the attack upon the Indians a surprise, for the reason that we had been chasing small
parties of them all the summer and fall without being able to catch them, and it appeared to me that the only way to deal with them
was to surprise them in their place of rendezvous. General Curtis, in his campaign against them, had failed to catch them; General
Mitchel had met with no better success; General Blunt had been surprised by them, and his command nearly cut to pieces.
18th question. State in detail the disposition made of the various articles of property, horses, mules, ponies, buffalo robes, &c.,
captured by you at the time of this attack, and by what authority was such disposition made?
Answer. The horses and mules that had been stolen from the government were turned over to the officer who had been responsible
for the same; and the animals belonging to Atzins was returned to them upon proof being made of such ownership. The animals
not disposed of in this way were turned over to Captain S. J. Johnson, 3d regiment Colorado cavalry, with instructions to proceed
with the same to Denver, and turn them into the quartermaster's department. After the command arrived in Denver, I again directed
Captain Johnson to turn over the stock to Captain C. L. Gorton, assistant quartermaster, at that place. The buffalo robes were turned
into the hospital for use of the wounded as before stated.
19th question. Make such further statement as you may desire, or which may be necessary to a full understanding of all matters
relating to the attack upon the Indians at Sand creek.
Answer. Since August, 1863, I had been in possession of the most conclusive evidence of the alliance, for the purposes of hostility
against the whites, of the Sioux, Cheyennes, Arapahoes, Camanche river, and Apache Indians. Their plan was to interrupt, or, if
possible, entirely prevent all travel on the routes along the Arkansas and Platte rivers from the States to the Rocky mountains, and
thereby depopulate this country. Rebel emissaries were long since sent among the Indians to incite them against the whites, and
afford a medium of communication between the rebels and the Indians; among whom was Gerry Bent, a half-breed Cheyenne
Indian, but educated, and to all appearances a white man, who, having served under Price in Missouri, and afterwards becoming a
bushwhacker, being taken prisoner, took the oath of allegiance, and was paroled, after which he immediately joined the Indians,
and has ever since been one of their most prominent leaders in all depredations upon the whites. I have been reliably informed that
this half-breed, Bent, in order to incite the Indians against the whites, told them that the Great Father at Washington having all he
could do to fight his children at the south, they could now regain their country.
When John Evans, governor of Colorado Territory, and ex officio superintendent of Indian affairs, visited by appointment the
Cheyenne Indians on the Republican fork of the Kansas river, to talk with them in regard to their relations with the government, the
Indians would have nothing to say to him, nor would they receive the presents sent them by the government, but immediately on his
arrival at the said point the Indians moved to a great distance, all their villages appearing determined not to have any intercourse
with him individually or as the agent of the government.
This state of affairs continued for a number of months, during which time white men who had been trading with the Indians
informed me that the Indians had determined to make war upon the whites as soon as the grass was green, and that they were
making preparations for such an event by the large number of arrows they were making and the quantity of arms and ammunition
they were collecting; that the settlers along the Platte and Arkansas rivers should be warned of the approaching danger; that the
Indians had declared their intention to prosecute the war vigorously when they commenced. With very few troops at my command I
could do but little to protect the settlers except to collect the latest intelligence from the Indians' country, communicate it to General
Curtis, commanding department of Missouri, and warn the settlers of

Page 107

the relations existing between the Indians and the whites, and the probability of trouble, all of which I did.
Last April, 1864, the Indians, Cheyennes, Arapahoes, and others, commenced their depredations upon the whites by entering their
isolated habitations in the distant parts of this territory, taking there from everything they desired, and destroying the balance; driving
off their stock, horses, mules and cattle. I sent a detachment of troops after the Indians to recover the stolen property, when the
stock, &c., being demanded of them they (the Indians) refused to surrender the property so taken from the whites, and stated that
they wanted to fight the troops. Again, when a few weeks after the country along the Platte river, near Fremont's orchard, became the
theatre of their depredations, one Ripley, a ranchman, living on the Bijou creek, near camp Sanborn, came into camp and informed
Captain Sanborn, commanding, that his stock had all been stolen by the Indians, requesting assistance to recover it. Captain
Sanborn ordered Lieutenant Clark Dunn, with a detachment of troops, to pursue the Indians and recover the stock; but, if possible,
to avoid a collision with them. Upon approaching the Indians, Lieutenant Dunn dismounted, walked forward alone about fifty paces
from his command, and requested the Indians to return the stock, which Mr. Ripley had recognized as his; but the Indians treated
him with contempt, and commenced firing upon him, which resulted in four of the troops being wounded and about fifteen Indians
being killed and wounded, Lieutenant Dunn narrowly escaping with his life. Again, about one hundred and seventy-five head of
cattle were stolen from Messrs. Irwin and Jackman, government freighters, when troops were sent in pursuit toward the headwaters
of the Republican. They were fired upon by the Indians miles from where the Indians were camped. In this encounter the Indians
killed one soldier and wounded another. Again, when the troops were near the Smoky Hill, after stock, while passing through a
canon, about eighty miles from Fort Larned, they were attacked by these same Cheyenne Indians, and others, and almost cut to
pieces, there being about fifteen hundred Indians. Again, when on a Sunday morning the Kiowas and Camanches were at Fort
Larned, to obtain the rations that the commanding officer, on behalf of the government, was issuing to them, they, at a preconcerted
signal, fired upon the sentinels at the fort, making a general attack upon the unsuspecting garrison, while the balance of the Indians
were driving off the stock belonging to the government, and then as suddenly departed, leaving the garrison afoot excepting about
thirty artillery horses that were saved; thus obtaining in all about two hundred and eighty head of stock, including a small herd taken
from the suttler at that post.
Again, a few days after this, the Cheyennes and Arapahoes Indians, with whom I had the fight at Sand creek, meeting a government
train bound for New Mexico, thirty miles east of Fort Larned, at Walnut creek, who, after manifesting a great deal of friendship by
shaking hands, &c., with every person in the train, suddenly attacked them, killing fourteen and wounding a number more, scalping
and mutilating in the most inhuman manner those they killed, while they scalped two of this party alive, one a boy about fourteen
years of age, who has since become an imbecile. The two persons that were scalped alive I saw a few days after this occurred.
Though it occurred within sight of Fort Zarah, the officer commanding considered his command entirely inadequate to render any
assistance. But we think we have related enough to satisfy the most incredulous of the determined hostility of these Indians; suffice
it to say that during the spring, summer, and fall such atrocious acts were of almost daily occurrence along the Platte and Arkansas
routes, till the Indians becoming so bold that a family, consisting of a man, woman, and two children, by the name of Hungate, were
brutally murdered and scalped within fifteen miles of Denver, the bodies being brought to Denver for interment. After seeing which,
any person who could for a moment believe that these Indians were friendly, to say the least, must have strange ideas of their
habits. We could not see it in that light

Page 108

This last atrocious act was referred to by Governor Evans in his talk with the Cheyennes and Arapahoes Indians on about the 27th
day of September, 1864, at Denver, Colorado Territory. The Indians then stated that it had been done by members of their tribe, and
that they never denied it. All these things were promptly reported to Major General S. R. Curtis, commanding department, who
repeatedly ordered me, regardless of district lines, to appropriately chastise the Indians, which I always endeavored to do. Major
General S. R. Curtis himself and Brigadier General R. B. Mitchell made campaigns against the Indians, but could not find them; the
Indians succeeded in keeping entirely from their view. Again, Major General J. P. Blunt made a campaign against the Indians; was
surprised by them, and a portion of his command nearly cut to pieces.
Commanding only a district with very few troops under my control, with hundreds of miles between my headquarters and
rendezvous of the Indians, with a large portion of the Santa Fe and Platte routes, besides the sparsely settled and distant
settlements of this Territory, to protect, I could not do anything till the 3d regiment was organized and equipped, when I determined
to strike a blow against this savage and determined foe. When I reached Fort Lyon, after passing over from three to five feet of snow,
and greatly suffering from the intensity of the cold, the thermometer ranging from 28 to 30 degrees below zero, I questioned Major
Anthony in regard to the whereabouts of hostile Indians. He said there was a camp of Cheyennes and Arapahoes about fifty miles
distant; that he would have attacked before, but did not consider his force sufficient; that these Indians had threatened to attack the
post, &c., and ought to be whipped, all of which was concurred in by Major Colley, Indian agent for the district of the Arkansas, which
information, with the positive orders from Major General Curtis, commanding the department, to punish these Indians, decided my
course, and resulted in the battle of Sand Creek, which has created such a sensation in Congress through the lying reports of
interested and malicious parties.
On my arrival at Fort Lyon, in all my conversations with Major Anthony, commanding the post, and Major Colley, Indian agent, I heard
nothing of this recent statement that the Indians were under the protection of the government, &c.; but Major Anthony repeatedly
stated to me that he had at different times fired upon these Indians, and that they were hostile, and, during my stay at Fort Lyon,
urged the necessity of my immediately attacking the Indians before they could learn of the number of troops at Fort Lyon, and so
desirous was Major Colly, Indian agent, that I should find and also attack the Arapahoes, that he sent a messenger after the fight at
Sand creek, nearly forty miles, to inform me where I could find the Arapahoes and Kiowas; yet, strange to say, I have learned recently
that these men, Anthony and Colly, are the most bitter in their denunciations of the attack upon the Indians at Sand creek. Therefore,
I would, in conclusion, most respectfully demand, as an act of justice to myself and the brave men whom I have had the honor to
command in one of the hardest campaigns ever made in this country, whether against white men or red, that we be allowed that
right guaranteed to every American citizen, of introducing evidence in our behalf to sustain us in what we believe to have been an act
of duty to ourselves and to civilization.
We simply ask to introduce as witnesses men that were present during the campaign and know all the facts.
Lieu't. Col. 1st Cavalry of Colorado, Com'd'g Dist. of Colorado.

Sworn and subscribed to before me this 26th day of April, 1865.
Notary Public.
Conclusion – Benjamin F. Wade
Testimony of Jesse H. Leavenworth
Testimony of John S. Smith
Testimony of Capt. Samuel M. Robbins
Testimony of Dexter D. Colley
Testimony of Maj. Scott J. Anthony
Testimony of Maj. Samuel G. Colley
Testimony of Governor John Evans
Testimony of US Marshal A. C. Hunt
Evans 2nd Proclamation
Reports & Dispatches
Evans 1st Proclamation
John Smith Deposition
Lt. James Cannon Deposition
Capt. R. A. Hill Deposition
Lt. William P. Minton &
Lt. Chauncey M. Cossitt Deposition
Col. Samuel G. Colley Deposition
Pvt. David Louderback &
R. Watson Clark Deposition
Col. Thomas Moonlight/Sand Creek aftermath
Testimony of Colonel John M. Chivington
I - V


Section 2
“Massacre of the Cheyenne Indians”
United States, Congress, House of Representatives.  
“Massacre of the Cheyenne Indians,” Report on the
Conduct of the War, 38 Cong., 2 sess., Washington,
Government Printing Office, 1865
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