The Reynolds Band | Rocky Mountains News Editorial, Sept. 1864
Sand Creek Massacre
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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.
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.
Five members of the notorious James Reynolds gang of Confederate raiders were captured by citizens and
Colorado soldiers near Canon City, Colorado, in September 1864. Citing authority granted him by Colorado’s militia
law, Colonel John M. Chivington ordered Captain Theodore Cree to take the criminals to Fort Lyon to stand in
military trial for crimes committed in the state, including robbery and assault. The gang members, including Jim
Reynolds himself, were killed by Cree’s company en route, raising speculation in some political camps that an
execution without proper trial occurred. Chivington’s political opponents claimed this incident was another
example of the controversial Colonel’s heavy-handed rule over the Colorado Territory. The Rocky Mountain News,
a supporter of both Chivington and Governor John Evans’ candidacy in the upcoming elections, published the
following editorial in defense of the Reynolds incident.
Rocky Mountain News, September 9, 1864
THE REYNOLDS BAND.
We probably shall never again have occasion to mention the Reynolds Guerilla band except as a thing of the past. Of the nine
that originally formed it, six have gone to their last accounts. Stowe (some say Singletary) was killed in the Platte Canyon when
they were first dispersed and five were afterwards taken prisoner and brought to Denver. Here they had a military examination
and though we know not what was its proceedings, we have been informed that the prisoners were very impudent and defiant, Jim
Reynolds particularly openly boasting that he had intended to destroy Denver and that he expected yet to lay the city in ashes.
He boasted of his lawless acts and that he was (illegible) to emulate Quantrile (sic).
Last Saturday morning, the prisoners were placed in charge of Co. A, 3rd Col. Cav. for removal to Fort Lyon. On the road, we
learn that they were impudent and insulting to the soldiers and abused all the Colorado volunteers. At California Ranch they
were especially abusive and insolent. Captain Cree was obliged to interfere and send his men away, after which he warned the
prisoners that they must treat his soldiers with respect or he would not answer to the consequences; that they had already made
them so angry that he could hardly control them.
Beyond the point named a few miles at the old Russellville townsite, the wagon containing the prisoners and its guard had fallen
fifty or sixty rods behind the command when they halted to water their horses. Whilst doing so, the prisoners made a concerted
attempt to escape when they were fired upon by the guard and all immediately killed. So we learn from various sources, and
publish to quiet the thousand and one reports, rumors and surprises respecting the matter that have been rife in our community
since yesterday noon.
But few will regret their end, and many will breathe easier that they are gone. Their acts of robbery, rapine and murder are
avenged, and some more of the actors in the Lawrence masacre (sic) have gone to their last account.
The three who escaped were pursued by Captain (Charles) Kerber away into the mountains of New Mexico before he lost their
trail. He followed them with his command two hundred and twenty miles in two days.
Attorney S.E. Browne letter to General Curtis Regarding the Reynolds Gang
Chivington and the Reynolds Gang
|Ned Wynkoop & the Lonely Road
From Sand Creek
|Sand Creek and the
Tragic End of a Lifeway