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Sand Creek Massacre

National Historic Site - Colorado

The Sand Creek massacre (also known as the Chivington massacre, the Battle of Sand Creek or the massacre of Cheyenne Indians) was a massacre in the American Indian Wars that occurred on November 29, 1864, when a 675-man force of Colorado U.S. Volunteer Cavalry attacked and destroyed a village of Cheyenne and Arapaho in southeastern Colorado Territory, killing and mutilating an estimated 70–163 Native Americans, about two-thirds of whom were women and children.

maps

Official Visitor Map of Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site (NHS) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Sand Creek Massacre - Visitor Map

Official Visitor Map of Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site (NHS) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

https://www.nps.gov/sand/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sand_Creek_Massacre_National_Historic_Site The Sand Creek massacre (also known as the Chivington massacre, the Battle of Sand Creek or the massacre of Cheyenne Indians) was a massacre in the American Indian Wars that occurred on November 29, 1864, when a 675-man force of Colorado U.S. Volunteer Cavalry attacked and destroyed a village of Cheyenne and Arapaho in southeastern Colorado Territory, killing and mutilating an estimated 70–163 Native Americans, about two-thirds of whom were women and children. The Sand Creek Massacre: profound, symbolic, spiritual, controversial, a site unlike any other in America. As 675 cavalrymen came around a prairie bend, the camps of Chiefs Black Kettle, White Antelope, and Left Hand lay in the valley before them. Chaotic, horrific, tumultuous, and bloody, the events of November 29, 1864 changed the course of history. The Sand Creek Massacre is located in Kiowa County, Colorado. To visit the site, follow Colorado State Highway 96 east off Highway 287 near Eads, or west off Highway 385 at Sheridan Lake. Near Chivington, turn north onto County Road 54/Chief White Antelope Way or at Brandon, turn north onto County Road 59. Follow these roads to their intersections with County Road W. The park entrance is along CR W a mile east (right) of CR 54 or several miles west (left) of CR 59. Eight miles of dirt/sand roads lead to the Sand Creek Massacre Visitor Contact Station The park Visitor Contact Station is located at the park, which is eight miles north of the town of Chivington. It provides education and orientation materials and has a sales outlet for educational merchandise. Visitor Contact Station maintains the same hours as the park. NOTE: Bookstore sales end at 3:30 pm. The Sand Creek Massacre is located in Kiowa County, Colorado. To visit the site, follow Colorado State Highway 96 east off Highway 287 near Eads, or west off Highway 385 at Sheridan Lake. Near Chivington, turn north onto County Road 54/Chief White Antelope Way or at Brandon, turn north onto County Road 59. Follow these roads to their intersections with County Road W. The park entrance is along CR W a mile east (right) of CR 54 or several miles west (left) of CR 59. Eight miles of dirt/sand roads lead to the Sand Creek Massacre Visitor and Education Center The Sand Creek Massacre Visitor and Education Center is located in downtown Eads, Colorado. It provides education and orientation materials and has a sales outlet for educational merchandise. On the second floor there is an exhibit space featuring images of people connected to the Sand Creek Massacre. From highway 287, turn onto Maine St. (left hand turn if coming from the north, right hand turn if coming from the south) and drive over the railway tracks. Continue on Maine St. for approximately one block and the Visitor and Education Center will be on the right hand side at the intersection with 13th St. Cheyenne Lodges at Dawn Four white Indian lodges on a grassy plain. Cheyenne and Arapaho Lodges erected in commemoration of the 150th Year of the Sand Creek Massacre Remembering the Past A lone tipi frame and two wayside signs stand in a snow-covered landscape A tipi frame is backlit by an evening sky. Memorial at Sunset A stone memorial on the prairie with an evening sky in the background. Back lit clouds form an impressive backdrop to the stone memorial dedicated to the memory of the Sand Creek Massacre. Sunset along Sand Creek The uppermost branches of leafless trees in a grassy plain are lit by the setting sun. The setting sun highlights trees along Sand Creek, forming a hauntingly beautiful landscape Tipi Frame at Dusk A tipi frame is silhouetted by the evening sky. The silhouette of a lone tipi at dusk symbolizes the tragic events that occurred in 1864 and of the indomitable spirit of the Cheyenne and Arapaho people, who overcame the tragedy and continue to work with the NPS to preserve its memory and legacy. Winter clouds over Sand Creek An expanse of winter prairie with brown grasses, leafless trees, and low clouds above. Winter on the Southeastern Colorado Plains can produce beautiful scenes such as this. Fall Colors along the Big Sandy Creek A Sand Creek memorial plaque and fallen tree trunk with trees in fall color behind. The leaves of Cottonwood trees along the Sand Creek burst with color during the fall. Snow on Monument Hill Overlook A wayside in the snow-covered foreground with a winter plain stretching behind. This tranquil winter view shows snow throughout the Sand Creek Valley. Wetland, Riparian, Geomorphology, and Floodplain Conditions at Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site In 2004, the National Park Service Water Resources Division evaluated soil, wetland, and riparian habitat conditions in Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site. A team of hydrologists and wetland scientists conducted a preliminary assessment of the site’s hydrologic and geomorphic conditions (surface features). The soils, hydrology, and wildlife habitat of the site were determined to be extremely sensitive to human traffic and other alterations. Wetland in Sand Creek Massacre NHS NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site, Colorado Sand Creek Massacre NHS is located on the Colorado Piedmont, part of the Great Plains physiographic province in eastern Colorado. Bedrock exposure is poor in the region, but the area is underlain by the Cretaceous Niobrara Formation. Links to products from Baseline Geologic and Soil Resources Inventories provide access to maps and reports. park sign: sand creek massacre national historic site Multiple Lines of Evidence: Searching for the Sand Creek Massacre Site In 1864, the U. S. Army carried out a surprise attack on a non-combatant encampment of Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians along the Big Sandy Creek in southeastern Colorado, killing about 160 men, women, and children, including elderly or infirm. To preserve the memory of this tragic event, the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site was established following a multi-disciplinary effort to identify the actual location of the attack. Detail from The Sand Creek Massacre, elk hide painting by Eagle Robe Sand Creek Massacre Breeding Bird Inventory The Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory conducted the breeding bird inventory at Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site in spring and summer 2005. Mountain plover Exotic Plants Monitoring in the Southern Plains and Chihuahuan Desert National parks, like other publicly managed lands, are deluged by new exotic species arriving through predictable (e.g., road, trail, and riparian corridors), sudden (e.g., long distance dispersal through cargo containers and air freight), and unexpected anthropogenic pathways (e.g., weed seeds mixed in with restoration planting mixes). Landscape with a uniform, green foreground consisting of invasive kochia Colorado: Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site tells the story of that fatal attack and its repercussions. site of the massacre The Civilian Experience in the Civil War After being mere spectators at the war's early battles, civilians both near and far from the battlefields became unwilling participants and victims of the war as its toll of blood and treasure grew year after year. In response to the hardships imposed upon their fellow citizens by the war, civilians on both sides mobilized to provide comfort, encouragement, and material, and began to expect that their government should do the same. Painting of civilians under fire during the Siege of Vicksburg Climate Change in the Southern Plains Network Climate change may have direct and/or indirect effects on many elements of Southern Plains network ecosystems, from streams and grasslands to fires and birds. Russian knapweed (Acroptilon repens) is an invasive plant that has invaded the Southern Plains Climate Monitoring in the Southern Plains, Sonoran Desert, and Chihuahuan Desert Climate is one of many ecological indicators monitored by the National Park Service (NPS) Division of Inventory & Monitoring (I&M). Climate data help scientists to understand ecosystem processes and help to explain many of the patterns and trends observed in other natural-resource monitoring. In NPS units of the American Southwest, three I&M networks monitor climate using the scientific protocol described here. Kayaking across a fl ooded parking lot, Chickasaw NRA, July 2007. Southwestern Plains The Plains of the Southwest include the southern Great Plains, the High Plains, Llano Estacado (Staked Plains), and Edwards Plateau. Sunset lights up the grass at Capulin Volcano National Monument Hancock's War Major General Winfield S. Hancock came out to the Southern Plains in the Spring of 1867 to quell a suspected Indian uprising. He was a distinguished U.S. Army officer with an impressive record, especially for service during the Civil War. However, dealing with an enemy so culturally dissimilar to him proved a difficult challenge. Instead of pacifying the Indians, his burning of a local Indian village incited a summer of violence known to history as "Hancock's War." Black and white head photo of Winfield Scott Hancock Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available. park scene mountains Series: Defining the Southwest The Southwest has a special place in the American imagination – one filled with canyon lands, cacti, roadrunners, perpetual desert heat, a glaring sun, and the unfolding of history in places like Tombstone and Santa Fe. In the American mind, the Southwest is a place without boundaries – a land with its own style and its own pace – a land that ultimately defies a single definition. Maize agriculture is one component of a general cultural definition of the Southwest. Series: Southern Plains Bird Inventories Birds are a highly visible component of many ecosystems and because they respond quickly to changes in resource conditions, birds are good indicators of environmental change. Bird inventories allow us to understand the current condition, or status, of bird populations and communities in parks. These data are important for managing birds and other resources and provide baseline information for monitoring changes over time. Violet-green swallow A Century of Dishonor by Helen Hunt Jackson Read about one of the books that can be found in the library at James A. Garfield National Historic Site by author Helen Hunt Jackson whom shared a mutual acquaintance, Emily Dickinson, with First Lady Lucretia Rudolph. The book was a gift to the newly elected president in January 1881. a red book with the title A Century of Dishonor by Helen Hunt Jackson
Sand Creek Massacre Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site Colorado National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior By the dim light I could see the soldiers, charging down on the camp from each side . . . at first the people stood huddled in the village, but as the soldiers came on they broke and fled . . . It is difficult to believe that beings in the form of men, and disgracing the uniform of United States soldiers and officers, could commit or countenance . . . such acts of cruelty and barbarity . . . —Congressional Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, 1865 —George Bent, son of trader William Bent and Owl Woman, a Cheyenne (Left) Bent is shown with wife Magpie, niece of Black Kettle and survivor of the massacre. Cheyenne leader War Bonnet (right) died at Sand Creek. Col. John Chivington (near left), leader of the attack, and Pvt. Joseph Aldrich, who was killed at Sand Creek. In the 1800s columns of U.S. Cavalry were a growing presence on the Great Plains. BACKGROUND PHOTO: NPS; WAR BONNET & CHIVINGTON: WWW.PICTUREHISTORY.COM; OTHER PORTRAITS & CAVALRY: DENVER PUBLIC LIBRARY SAND CREEK—a windswept place haunted by violence and broken promises. The 1864 massacre of Cheyenne and Arapaho people opened the last phase of a broader conflict between Native Americans and a rapidly expanding nation. At stake were two ways of using the land, of seeing the world. The massacre deepened Plains Indian resistance to American expansion, spurring a cycle of raids and reprisals. But the savagery at Sand Creek also helped awaken America to the plight of its native peoples. This remains sacred ground—a place to honor the dead and dispossessed, a place where they are not forgotten. The Sun rising at their backs, a long column of riders moved up dry Big Sandy Creek toward the tipis along its banks. The village’s 700 Cheyenne and Arapaho people were stirring, tending to chores. The temporary camp was along the northern border of the Fort Wise Treaty lands, where most felt protected. Hearing distant hoof beats, Indian women called out, “The buffalo are coming!” But on this cold November morning the “buffalo” were hundreds of blue-clad soldiers. The alarm went through the village. Peace Chief Black Kettle raised a U.S. flag and a white flag of truce, signals of peaceful intentions. Men gathered weapons and young herders moved the pony herds. Women, children, and elderly began their evacuation up the dry creek channel and onto the plains. Cheyenne chiefs Black Kettle, Standing In The Water, and White Antelope, with Arapaho chief Left Hand, walked toward the mounted soldiers to ask for a parley. Cavalrymen crossed the creek, firing into them and the village. All but Black Kettle were killed or mortally wounded. Col. John Chivington arrived with the artillery at the edge of the village. He gave the order to fire, then ordered the howitzers upstream. As soldiers scattered over many square miles, command and control was soon lost, and soldiers died in their own crossfire. The Colorado 3rd Regiment, a group of 100-day U.S. Volunteers, lost all unit integrity. Soon individuals and small Map (left) shows the attack in relation to the park area. The Core Area includes archeological evidence of part of the encampment and the creek bend shown in survivor George Bent’s 1914 map (right). Lean Bear War Bonnet Standing In The Water WASHINGTON, D.C. 1863 Cheyenne delegation in the White House garden with Mary Todd Lincoln (upper right). Within 18 months War Bonnet and Standing In The Water had died at Sand Creek; Lean Bear had been killed by Colorado Territory troops. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS Bent showed sites of Black Kettle’s band (1), other bands (tipis closer to creek bend), and a pit (2, upper left) dug by women to escape the bullets. Warriors tried to defend it from their rifle pits (3, in creek bed), but were besieged by soldiers (4) from all sides. squads chased after Indians in all directions. Captain Soule’s and Lieutenant Cramer’s units of the First Regiment refused to fire, standing down and remaining in formation. Of the 100 fighting-age men in the camp, some formed lines of battle, trying to cover those fleeing. Into the early afternoon soldiers poured a relentless fire into stragglers until their ammunition ran out. Most who surrendered were executed. The treeless stream bed provided little cover. Groups of villagers dug pits in the bed in a desperate attempt to escape bullets. These “sand pits” proved worthless against almost point-blank howitzer fire. Most of the women, children, and elderly who were killed lost their lives in the sand pits. Soldiers pursued Indians fleeing over the prairie, riding down and killing those they found. When the firing ended, 165 to 200 Cheyenne and Arapaho people were killed—two-thirds of them women, children, and elderly. Another 200 were wounded or maimed. Of the army’s 675 soldiers, about 16 were killed and 70 wounded. The next day some soldiers looted, scalped, and mut

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