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Curriculum - 7th Grade Standards - Kansas History Standards - 1860s to 1870s (Benchmark 3) - Fed. Gov. and Indian lands (Indicator 1) - Sand Creek Massacre

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Affidavit of John Smith

Affidavit of John Smith
Creator: United States. Congress. Senate
Date: January 15, 1865
This affidavit given by John Smith, an interpreter for the United States military, was presented to the military commission investigating the massacre of Cheyenne Indians at Sand Creek, Colorado, in 1864. Smith's account focuses primary on the events prior to the massacre, including the attitudes of the Cheyenne leaders One Eye and Black Kettle. The affidavit is part of a larger report containing evidence obtained at this hearing, titled Report of the Secretary of War, Communicating, In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of February 4, 1867, a copy of the evidence taken at Denver and Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, by a military commission, ordered to inquire into the Sand Creek massacre, November, 1864.


Colonel John M. Chivington to Major General S. R. Curtis

Colonel John M. Chivington to Major General S. R. Curtis
Creator: United States. Congress. Senate
Date: December 16, 1864
This copy of a letter by Colonel John Chivington, commander of the 1st Colorado Cavalry, was included in the report of a military commission called to investigate the Sand Creek massacre in Colorado Territory. In the letter, Chivington describes his pursuit of "hostile" Indians and his actions at Sand Creek. According to Chivington, he took no prisoners, leaving between five and six hundred Indians "dead upon the field." He also captured around 550 ponies and horses, as well as other Indian property. This letter is included in a larger published report, titled Report of the Secretary of War, Communicating, in compliance with a resolution of the Senate of February 4, 1867, a copy of the evidence taken at Denver and Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, by a military commission, ordered to inquire into the Sand Creek massacre, November, 1864.


Indian slaughter

Indian slaughter
Creator: Manhattan Independent
Date: December 13, 1864
This short article published in the Manhattan Independent discusses the Sand Creek massacre, which took place in Colorado Territory on November 29, 1864. During this massacre the Cheyenne people, led by Black Kettle, were almost completely annihilated. The article also includes a short letter that Colonel John M. Chivington sent to Major General S. G. Curtis detailing the events of the massacre.


John Evans to Major S. G. Colley

John Evans to Major S. G. Colley
Creator: Evans, John
Date: September 29, 1864
John Evans, the governor of Colorado Territory and former Superintendent of Indian Affairs, wrote this letter to S. G. Colley, an Indian agent. Evans discusses how he has not made a treaty with the Cheyenne or Arapaho Indians because he does not want to impede the military operations against hostile tribes, arguing that the Arapaho and Cheyenne should make peace with the military, and not with Indian agents. Copied from The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies.


S. R. Curtis to John M. Chivington

S. R. Curtis to John M. Chivington
Creator: Curtis, Samuel Ryan, 1805-1866
Date: September 28, 1864
Major General Samuel R. Curtis, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, addressed this letter to Colonel John M. Chivington, ordering him to round up the "bad Indians" and to secure hostages. He is opposed to peace and wishes to "chastise" the natives. Copied from The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies.


T. Moonlight to S. F. Tappan

T. Moonlight to S. F. Tappan
Creator: United States. Congress. Senate
Date: February 12, 1865
This letter, written by T. Moonlight, Colonel of the 11th Kansas Cavalry, states that the purpose of this military investigation, among other things, was to ascertain if Colonel John Chivington, commander of the 1st Colorado Cavalry, had followed the "recognized rules of civilized warfare." These hearings, which were not a formal military trial, were held in Denver beginning on February 9, 1865. The massacre of Cheyenne Indians at Sand Creek, Colorado Territory, had occurred in November 1864. The letter is part of a larger report containing evidence obtained at this hearing, titled Report of the Secretary of War, Communicating, In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of February 4, 1867, a copy of the evidence taken at Denver and Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, by a military commission, ordered to inquire into the Sand Creek massacre, November, 1864.


Testimony of Captain Silas S. Soule

Testimony of Captain Silas S. Soule
Creator: United States. Congress. Senate
Date: February 15, 1865-February 21, 1865
This testimony was given by Silas Soule, captain of the 1st Colorado Cavalry, Company D, who was called before the military commission investigating the massacre of Cheyenne Indians at Sand Creek, Colorado, in 1864. Soule gives a detailed description of the attitude and movements of the Cheyenne Indians and the Colorado cavalry forces prior to the conflict, as well as a summary of the actual events that occurred on Sand Creek. Although this commission was not a military trial, the format of taking witness testimony was similar. Colonel John Chivington, commander of the 1st Colorado, was allowed to cross-examine the witnesses called by the commission. The testimony is part of a larger report containing evidence obtained at this hearing, titled Report of the Secretary of War, Communicating, In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of February 4, 1867, a copy of the evidence taken at Denver and Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, by a military commission, ordered to inquire into the Sand Creek massacre, November, 1864.


Testimony of Henry H. Hewitt

Testimony of Henry H. Hewitt
Creator: United States. Congress. Senate
Date: May 9, 1865
This testimony was given by a second lieutenant in the 3rd Colorado Cavalry, Henry Hewitt, before the military commission investigating the massacre of Cheyenne Indians at Sand Creek, Colorado, in 1864. His testimony focuses on his own role in the military campaign against the Cheyenne, including his seizure of Indian ponies and mules. Hewitt was introduced as a witness on behalf on Colonel Chivington, commander of the 1st Colorado Cavalry, whose actions were under investigation. Although this commission was not a criminal trial, the format of taking witness's testimony was similar?the commission was allowed to cross examine the witnesses called by the Colonel Chivington. The testimony is part of a larger report containing evidence obtained at this hearing, titled Report of the Secretary of War, Communicating, In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of February 4, 1867, a copy of the evidence taken at Denver and Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, by a military commission, ordered to inquire into the Sand Creek massacre, November, 1864.


Testimony of Lieutenant James D. Cannon

Testimony of Lieutenant James D. Cannon
Creator: United States. Congress. Senate
Date: March 27, 1865-March 29, 1865
This testimony was given by James Cannon, a lieutenant in the New Mexico Volunteers, who was called before the military commission investigating the massacre of Cheyenne Indians at Sand Creek, Colorado, in 1864. This excerpt focuses primary on the events that occurred along Sand Creek. Although this commission was not a criminal trial, the format of taking witness's testimony was similar?Colonel Chivington, commander of the 1st Colorado, was allowed to cross-examine the witnesses called by the commission. The testimony is part of a larger report containing evidence obtained at this hearing, titled Report of the Secretary of War, Communicating, In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of February 4, 1867, a copy of the evidence taken at Denver and Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, by a military commission, ordered to inquire into the Sand Creek massacre, November, 1864.


Testimony of Major Edward W. Wynkoop

Testimony of Major Edward W. Wynkoop
Creator: United States. Congress. Senate
Date: March 20, 1865-March 24, 1865
This testimony was given by Edward Wynkoop, a major in the 1st Colorado Cavalry, who was called before the military commission investigating the massacre of Cheyenne Indians at Sand Creek, Colorado, in 1864. Wynkoop gives a detailed description of his personal interactions with the Cheyenne, Indian depredations allegedly committed in the area, and the events that occurred along Sand Creek. Although this commission was not a criminal trial, the format of taking witness's testimony was similar?Colonel Chivington, commander of the 1st Colorado, was allowed to cross-examine the witnesses called by the commission. The testimony is part of a larger report containing evidence obtained at this hearing, titled Report of the Secretary of War, Communicating, In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of February 4, 1867, a copy of the evidence taken at Denver and Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, by a military commission, ordered to inquire into the Sand Creek massacre, November, 1864. This report also includes transcriptions of documents called as evidence.


Testimony of Samuel Ashcraft

Testimony of Samuel Ashcraft
Creator: United States. Congress. Senate
Date: May 6, 1865
This testimony, given by an Indian trader named Samuel Ashcraft, was taken before the military commission investigating the massacre of Cheyenne Indians, at Sand Creek, Colorado Territory, in November 1864. His testimony focuses on the Cheyenne's attitude toward ending their war with the U.S. military, not on the specific events of the massacre. Ashcraft was introduced as a witness on behalf of Colonel John Chivington, commander of the 1st Colorado Cavalry, whose actions were under investigation. Although this commission was not a criminal trial, the format of taking witness testimony was similar--the commission was allowed to cross-examine the witnesses called by Colonel Chivington. The testimony is part of a larger report containing evidence obtained at this hearing, titled Report of the Secretary of War, Communicating, In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of February 4, 1867, a copy of the evidence taken at Denver and Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, by a military commission, ordered to inquire into the Sand Creek massacre, November, 1864.


The Peace Commission. Indian talks

The Peace Commission. Indian talks
Creator: Daily Missouri Democrat (St. Louis)
Date: October 23, 1867
This article, written by a special correspondent for the Daily Missouri Democrat, describes the meeting of U. S. commissioners and Indian chiefs at Medicine Lodge Creek in 1867. The article includes a transcription of the proceedings. Before the council meeting began, Commissioner Taylor distributed gifts to the tribes who were represented, and all the U. S. delegates expressed their desire for peace. Some of the Indian delegates, particularly Chief Black Kettle of the Cheyenne, doubted the intentions of the federal government. The article also states that the commissioners looked into the causes of the war, attributing some blame to the massacre at Sand Creek in 1864.


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