November 29, 1864 – Sand Creek Massacre

On the morning of November 29, 1864, a 700-man contingent of Colorado militia under the command of John Chivington, a Methodist pastor in civilian life, fell upon an unsuspecting camp of friendly Cheyenne and Arapaho. Ignoring a white flag of surrender, the militia slaughtered hundreds of Indians, most of whom were old men, women and children, as the most able men were out hunting. (Chivington himself later testified “I judge there were five hundred or six hundred Indians killed” but estimates vary widely.)

The militia scalped its victims, mutilated them, and stuck the women’s genitals on poles. Fingers and ears were cut off the bodies for the jewelry they carried. Chivington and his men dressed their weapons, hats and gear with scalps and other body parts, including human fetuses and male and female genitalia. They also publicly displayed these battle trophies in Denver’s Apollo Theater and area saloons. A local newspaper (“The Rocky Mountain News”) praised the militia for its “brilliant feat of arms,” saying that the soldiers “covered themselves with glory.”

Why did all this happen, you may wonder? There was gold in them thar hills…. Glory, indeed.

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20 Responses to November 29, 1864 – Sand Creek Massacre

  1. Sandy says:

    And people like to call the Indians savages…

  2. zibilee says:

    This is crazy and horrifying! Such a brutal thing to do. And “covered themselves with glory”?? I think not.

  3. Colorado media and others fail to mention that Southern Cheyenne Chief Laird (Whistling Eagle) Cometsevah told this filmmaker that there were over 400 Cheyenne murdered at Sand Creek. The reason for this is the same reason Germans would not publicly discuss the Holocaust. They were ashamed of it. All competent journalists and the like should always interview Cheyenne people before they write something about the Sand Creek Massacre. To do anything less is to show disrespect to the Cheyenne people, something that has been going on since the 1825 Friendship Treaty promoted and signed by the Cheyenne people.

    Let’s get this right, folks. It’s time.

    • Thank you very much for your comment. Readers should be aware that this commenter is a filmmaker/writer who is working on a feature documentary film about the Sand Creek Massacre. You can read more about it at his website here.

  4. Rural View says:

    This is a new one for me. I hadn’t heard of this massacre but I’ll be researching it. Horrible atrocity!

  5. Trisha says:

    Isn’t it insane how horribly we humans treat each other?

  6. This is horrific! Yikes! Makes the yearliy “death by Walmart trampling” on Black Friday look mild on the Crazy Greed Scale.

  7. That is just horrible. Another nugget of history that you don’t learn in school.!

  8. Julie P. says:

    Unbelievable. I had never heard about this!

  9. ELF says:

    WTF??? I don’t even. . .

  10. Jenny says:

    Yeesh. It’s amazing the things that have happened that they don’t teach you in history class (which is only partly an indictment of our education system — obviously, they can’t teach you everything).

  11. Vasilly says:

    OMG! That is so horrible! It amazes me how horrible human beings can treat one another.

  12. Alyce says:

    This reminds me of a lot of the atrocities that I read about in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. It really was an eye-opening book.

  13. Jana Stacy says:

    Agreed, the first people this film maker needs to go is to the Cheyenne people. This is only one chapter in the whole story. Of course, be it gold, land or whatever resource is coveted, this is a reoccurring story across the continent since white people first came here. Funny how schools not only miss this one, but all of them. Instead the teach the little kiddies to make paper feather headdresses to celebrate a so called “thanksgiving” that never occurred. At least not in the way they tell it.

  14. Darlene says:

    OMG, I’ve never heard of this one but this is horrifying. How can people do that to others?

  15. This is horrific. I mean, not only is it terrible, but gross!

  16. History is so vitally important to remember and I’m glad you posted this.

  17. Margot says:

    So glad you posted about this ugly part of our history. Isn’t it sad that we don’t hesitate to teach or have a museum about the holocaust in Germany but never mention our own.

  18. rampaging freak says:

    wow i agree this is the worst war ever. i think it was out of jealousy……i mean what john chivington was horrible.

  19. Bob Marshall says:

    It was horrible the genocide of more than 1.2 million Filipino men, women and children but the U.S. wanted the Philippines at any cost. Most American don’t want to know about the atrocities carried out by the U.S.

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