|Cheyenne and Arapaho still return here to pay tribute to|
ancestors who both perished and survived the 1864 massacre.
United States volunteer cavalry soldiers such as Colonel John Chivington took that message to heart, and to mean “all Indians, hostile or otherwise”. On November 28, 1864 Colonel Chivington led a surprise attack on the peaceful Indian settlement of predominately women and children camped at Sand Creek.
“The massacre lasted six or eight hours. I tell you it was hard to see little children on their knees have their brains beat out by men professing to be civilized. One squaw was wounded and a fellow took a hatchet to finish her, she held her arms up to defend her, and he cut one arm off and held the other with one hand and dashed the hatchet through her brain. Some tried to escape on the prairie, but most of them were run down by horsemen. They were all scalped, and as high as half a dozen taken from one head. They were all horribly mutilated. One woman was cut open and a child taken out of her, and scalped.”
Visit the high plains site where the massacre occurred. Listen as the breeze rustles the thistles and grasses. View the meadow below the escarpment, the willowy trees lining the banks of what once was a small stream. Imagine the camp there, the place where several hundred women, children and retired warriors were promised safe haven by Colorado territory officials. Remember the atrocities which occurred there, atrocities for which Colonel Chivington and his men were never held accountable. Then, take heed as the park’s rangers remind you that this place was established with the belief that we’re a better people now, that what happened here could never happen again.
|Meadow below the escarpment; site of the 1864 Cheyenne and Arapaho|