Governor John Evans Appeal to the People of Colorado
Sand Creek Massacre
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Related Articles:

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.

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.

Arrival of the Third Regiment - Grand March Through Town - Details Third Regiment return to Denver after the
Sand Creek Massacre.  Rocky Mountain News, December 22, 1864.

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.
Colorado Territorial Governor John Evans issued his “Appeal to the People” of Colorado, published in the Rocky
Mountain News
on August 10, 1864, authorizing the organization of civilian militias to fight hostile Indian bands.  He
followed up the next day with his
Second Proclamation, while on the same day, the War Department finally
authorized the commission of a 100-day volunteer regiment.  Evans issued a call for recruits in the
News on August

Rocky Mountain News, August 10, 1864


Patriotic Citizens of Colorado :

I (illegible) appeal to you to organize for the defense of your homes and families against the merciless savages.  The Militia law
of the Territory may be defective, but it is the only law we have on the subject, and to undertake to organize without law will only
lead to anarchy.

No patriot in time of danger like the present, should hold back from acting in concert with his fellow citizens according to law, for
the common defense.  I shall endeavor to send no man away from his home, except such as volunteer to go.  But without
organization you can do nothing, to aid in the common defense.  Without your aid, I can do nothing.

Up to this time I had hoped that my earnest efforts to secure protection from the military department would be successful.  I am
informed now that we must, ourselves, defend our settlements; and if we go to work we can do it.

Let every settlement organize its volunteer militia company for its defense, arming themselves as far as practicable, and I will
supply the deficiency until my supply of arms is exhausted.  Under the regulations of the War Department, arms and ammunition
can only be issued to organized companies.  Those who have Government arms without military organization must organize
immediately or they will be required to return them for the use of those who do organize.  I intend organizing militia companies,
under officers of their own election, and sending those already organized, who will agree to do so, to go in pursuit of the Indians;
and all citizens who can, are requested to join them.  All members of other militia companies desiring it, will be transferred to
them.  They will be entitled to all the property belonging to hostile Indians that they capture, and will look to Congress for pay for
their own services, for that of their horses, or for subsistence and transportation, which the Department Commander says will
doubtless be paid.  Without organization there is no way to obtain such pay or Government arms.

Any man who kills a hostile Indian is a patriot; but there are Indians who are friendly, and to kill one of them will involve us in
greater difficulty.  It is important therefore to fight only the hostile, and no one has been or will be restrained from this.

But no company of men can go on a war expedition successfully without legal organization, for there is no other way of enforcing
discipline than by law.

Let the people hold meetings and organize under the only law we have for the purpose, and then when the hostilities come nigh
on us, as they doubtless will, we will have a system by which every man will know what is his own duty, and if he is a patriot he
will be ready to perform it.

He is the true patriot who goes to work and prepares for defense by the only legal and proper way of (illegible) in time of
danger.  Those who refuse to cooperate with him and throw barriers in his way, belong to another class.

Again, I appeal to you to look into this matter in the light or reason and patriotism before it is too late to see.

I am very respectfully,
Your Obedient Servant,
JNO. EVANS, Governor, C.T.

Rocky Mountain News, August 13, 1864


DENVER CITY. Aug. 13, 1864

Patriotic Citizens of Colorado :
I am authorized by the Secretary of War to raise a regiment of cavalry to serve 100 days to fight the Indians.

Recruiting commissions will be issued and recruiting offices opened at once at different points in the Territory; all proper
expenses of recruiting made out in form agreeably to instructions from Capt. Mullen, A. Q. M. will be promptly paid.  Extravagant
charges therefore must be avoided.  As soon as half companies are enlisted, they will be mustered in under a First Lieutenant.  
The enlistment will be for one hundred days, from the filling up of the regiment, but in case the regiment does not fill up in 30
days from the date, recruits for the same will be organized into Batallions (sic) and mustered out on the expiration of one
hundred days from that time.

I trust the regiment will be full in half that time.

Let all who can do so enlist at once, and let him who would oppose a barrier in the way of our defences (sic) against the most
horrid danger, be (illegible) as unworthy of citizenship among the brave and patriotic people.

Prompt decisive and earnest action in this matter is what is wanted, the emergency upon us.  Every hour is big with anxiety for
our frontier settlements, and our friends on the plains.  Every report is expected to tell of new horrors.

Let this regiment be filled at once and in cooperation with the large force from the States asked for, pursue, kill and destroy all
hostile Indians that infest the plains, for thus only can we secure a permanent and lasting peace.




The following are copies of telegrams received by Governor Evans yesterday by which it will be seen he is fully empowered to
raise a regiment of hundred day men to fight the Indians :

WASHINGTON, Aug. 11th, 1864.
You are authorized to raise a regiment of infantry for one hundred days.  Term of service to commence from date of muster in of
last company of regiment.  Full instructions by mail.

J. B. Fry
Provost Marshal General


WASHINGTON, Aug. 11th, 1864.
Governor of Colorado. Denver :
The regiment for one hundred days may be cavalry or infantry.

J. B. Fry
Provost Marshal General

Massacre at Sand Creek
Silas Soule
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Sand Creek