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The Sand Creek Massacre
Rocky Mountain News Report on the Murder of Silas Soule
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9.11.01
We'll never forget
Captain Silas S. Soule
courtesy Byron Strom private materials,
Anne Hemphill Collection
Rocky Mountain News
April 24, 1865  p. 2  c. 1






The Homicide Last Night

Our city was thrown into a feverish excitement last evening by assassination of Captain S. S. Soule, of the Colorado First.  The
sad affair took place about half past ten o’clock, and was evidently coolly and deliberately planned, and as systematically carried
out.

For some time past the Captain had been in charge of the provost guard of the city and neighborhood, and his duties in that
capacity had, as a natural consequence, created many enemies.  Threats against his life have been freely and frequently made
– so we are informed – and no longer ago than yesterday he said that he was expecting to be attacked.

In the evening he and his wife were visiting at the house of a friend and returned home between nine and ten o’clock.  Shortly
after, a number of pistol shots were fired in the upper part of the city, evidently to decoy him out, and the Captain started to
ascertain the cause.  Whilst passing along Lawrence Street, Near F, and directly in front of the residence of Dr. Cunningham, he
seems to have been met by the assassin, and the indications are that both fired at the same instant, or so near together that the
reports seemed simultaneous.  Probably the Captain, expecting to be attacked, was in readiness, and when the other man
presented his pistol, he did the same, but the intended assassin fired an instant soonest, with but too fatal effect.  The ball
entered the Captain’s face at the point of the right cheek bone, pressing backward and upward, and lodging in the back part of
the head.  He fell back dead, appearing not to have moved a muscle after falling.  The other man, from the indications, was
wounded in the right hand or arm; how severely is not known.  His pistol was dropped at his feet and he immediately started and
ran towards the military camp in the upper part of the city, leaving a distinct trail of blood where he passed along.  When the
shots were fired they were standing about four feet apart, face to face,

Within less than a minute after the fatal shot, one of the provost guard and Mr. Ruter reached the spot.  The Captain was
already dead, and his murderer had disappeared.  They alarmed Dr. Cunningham, and a guard was sent for.  A number of
persons, soldiers and civilians, soon gathered around, and after a few minutes the body was removed to the building occupied
by the officers of the Headquarters of the District.

The excitement this morning, when the facts became generally known, was intense.  Hundreds of citizens visited the scene of the
tragedy, and it has formed the burthen of conversation throughout the city all day.  Patrols were dispatched in every direction,
and it is hardly possible that he will escape more than for a day or two.  Probably he will be overtaken to-day.  Of his identity we
shall at present refrain from speaking, though there is scarce a doubt but it is clearly known.  The cause is said to have grown
out of an arrest made by the Captain in the discharge of his duty as Provost Marshal.

Captain Soule was highly respected by his brother officers, and beloved by the men in his company.  He was married in this city
on the 1st inst., and consequently leaves a young wife to mourn this terrible and untimely fate.  It is the hope of all that his
murderer and his accomplices will be speedily brought to judgement, and a punishment meted out to them such as the base
crime deserves.
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Massacre at Sand Creek
Silas Soule
Ned Wynkoop & the Lonely Road
From Sand Creek
Sand Creek and the
Tragic End of a Lifeway
Sand Creek