The Third Regiment Returns to Denver
After the Sand Creek Massacre
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Denver's Rocky Mountain News article, written after the Sand Creek Massacre, detailing the return of the Colorado
Third Regiment to Denver.
Rocky Mountain News, December 22, 1864
Arrival of the Third Regiment – Grand March Through Town
The return of the Third regiment boys from the victorious field of Indian warfare was the grand feature of today. Those ten
companies, (the Eleventh and twelfth of the regiment being stationed at the Junction Valley Station, on the Platte, protecting that
route, and for a few months past,) who have stood the severity of the season, the snow storms of Bijou Basin, the fatigues of forced
marches, and the deprivation of all comforts both by day and night – camping where the hostile savage was expected to be met, or
following the red assasins (sic) to their strongholds in the interior of the desert – were the admired of all observers, on their entry
into town this morning.
Headed by the First Regiment Band, and by Colonels Chivington and Shoup, Lieut. Col. Bowen and Major Sayr, the rank and file of
the “bloody Thirdsters” made a most imposing procession, extending, with the transportation trains, from the upper end of Ferry
street, through Larimer, G and Blake, almost back to Ferry street again. As the “bold sojer boys” passed along, the sidewalks and
the corner stands were thronged with citizens saluting their old friends: and the fair sex took advantage of the opportunity, wherever
they could get it, of expressing their admiration for the gallant boys, who donned the regimentals for the purpose of protecting the
women of the country by ridding it of red skins. Although covered o’er with dust, and suffering from the hardships of the tended
field, the boys looked bully, and the general appearance of the whole was soldierly and service-like.
Head Quarters, District of Colorado, Denver, C. T. Dec. 21, 1864.
General Field Order No. (?)
The savages who for the past year been committing depredations on the property of our citizens; who have attacked and destroyed
the trains conveying our supplies; who have robbed and murdered our peaceable citizens, and by their determined hostility, most
seriously retarded the growth and prosperity of our Territory, have been surprised, routed, and almost annihilated.
To the troops of this command are due the thanks of the authorities, and of the people.
Upon the banks of the Big Sandy on the 29th day of November, 1864, a victory was achieved by you which is unparalleled in the
history of Indian warfare.
With but about six hundred men, after a forced march of over three hundred miles in ten days, through snows that were impassible
to any but the bravest troops, you surprised and routed a force of one thousand hostile Indians, slaying more than half the forces of
the savage foe, and capturing and destroying all of their lodges, and securing between five and six hundred horses, ponies and
To Colonel George L. Shoup, who by his unflagging perseverance and industry, so effectually (sic) aided in equipping and getting
in readiness for the field, his 3rd Regiment of Colorado Volunteer Cavalry (100 days men) and to the officers and men of that
regiment, who were participants in this eventful campaign, the Colonel commanding desires thus publicly to express his thanks.
Your privations and gallantry deserve the highest commendations, and the success of the campaign in which you have so gloriously
participated must entitle you to the thanks of your government and the gratitude of the loyal people of your country.
To the Officers and men of the 1st Cavalry of Colorado, who were participants in this campaign, thanks are also due. Their record
has ere this been made, and the Colonel commanding would only say, that their conduct upon this occasion was fully worthy of their
reputation. By order of
J. M. Chivington,
Col. 1st Cavalry of Colorado
J. S. Maynard.
Acting Assistant Adjutant General.
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Rocky Mountain News Editorials After the Sand Creek Massacre, including:
The Battle of Sand Creek – praises the Colorado third regiment. December 17, 1864.
The Third – 3rd Regiment soldiers not paid for their service at Sand Creek. December 29, 1864.
The Fort Lyon Affair – Indignation over criticism of the Sand Creek attack. December 30, 1864.
Its Effect – The consequences of a congressional investigation. December 31, 1864.
High Officials Checkmated – Letter to editor criticizes “High Officials” rumored to be pushing for an investigation
into the Sand Creek Massacre. Rocky Mountain News, January 4, 1865.
Scenes at Sand Creek – Interview of Captain John McCannon in 1881, detailing his experiences and opinions
regarding the Sand Creek Massacre. Rocky Mountain News, January 26, 1881.
Rocky Mountain News archives available at the Denver Public Library Western History Dept.
Appeal to the People, authorizing the organization of civilian militias, under the rules of militia law, to fight hostile
Indian bands; Rocky Mountain News, August 10, 1864.
Proclamation – After receiving approval from the War Department, Governor Evans calls for volunteers to join
the Colorado Third Regiment to fight Indians for a period of 100 days; Rocky Mountain News, August 13, 1864.
To Fight Indians – Rocky Mountain News editorial urges Colorado citizens to form militias at the request of
Governor Evans; to organize under the rules of militia law, and fight hostile Indian bands, Rocky Mountain News,
August 10, 1864.
The Reynolds Band – Editorial defends the killing of five members of the notorious James Reynolds Gang by
Colorado soldiers; Rocky Mountain News, September 9, 1864.
|Ned Wynkoop & the Lonely Road
From Sand Creek
|Sand Creek and the
Tragic End of a Lifeway