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The letters of Silas S. Soule 1861 – 1864
Recounting His Experiences in the Colorado Territory
Transcribed from his actual letters in Denver Library Western History Dept.
Some misspellings are left as it from originals
Call: cmss rbv59 m67-1163 WH/GEN stx 6
The following are correspondences Captain Silas Soule wrote during his life
in the Colorado First Regiment:
Letter to James B. Abbott, friend and fellow Jayhawker, July 21, 1861
Letter to Soule’s sister, Emily Soule, after Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence, KS.
William Soule’s home was damaged by fire in the raid. Sept. 4, 1863
Soule to his sister, Annie Soule - From Central City, CO. Concerns about
hardships on family from Quantrill raid, Oct. 11, 1863
Soule to his mother, Sophia - From Guadeloupe Conejos, Colorado Territory.
Soule promoted to Captain. Feb. 22, 1864
Soule to Sophia - From Camp Fillmore. Soule transfers to Fort Lyon, June
Soule to Annie - From Fort Lyon, June 1864 - "I don’t know what I shall do
this summer, but think will have some Indian fighting to do..."
Soule to Annie - From Fort Lyon, July 1864 - "You and Mother write for me to
be a Christian and not to be too wild, etc., but the Army don’t improve a fellow
much in that respect..."
Soule to Sophia - From Fort Lyon, July 1864 - "I went to a show tonight and
saw a man turn his joints out of shape for a dollar, so you see we are quite
civilized in this country."
Soule to Annie - From Fort Lyon, August 1864 - "...I bet sixty dollars against
a $60 dollar coat with the sutter that I would not take a drink for six months."
Soule to Annie - From Fort Lyon, October 1864 - "We have had considerable
trouble with the Indians this summer, but they are quite peaceble at present."
Soule - 2 letters to Sophia - From Fort Lyon, December 1864 - After the
Sand Creek Massacre:
December 1864 - "It was a horrable scene and I would not let my Company
fire. They were friendly and some of our soldiers were in their Camp at the
time trading. It looked too hard for me to see little Children on their knees
begging for their lives, have their brains beat out like dogs..."
January 1865 - "I spent New Year’s day on the battle ground counting dead
Indians. There were not as many killed as was reported. There was not
more than one hundred and thirty killed, but most of them were women and
children and all of them scalped. I hope the authorities at Washington will
investigate the killing of those Indians. I think they will be apt to hoist some
of our high officials."
Soule to Major Edward "Ned" Wynkoop - From Fort Lyon, December 1864 -
Reports to Wynkoop regarding the Sand Creek Massacre - "The massacre
lasted six or eight hours, and a good many Indians escaped. I tell you Ned 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, and he cut one arm off, and held the other with one
hand and dashed the hatchet through her brain."
The Letters of Silas S. Soule
|Captain Silas S. Soule
photos courtesy Byron Strom private
materials, Anne Hemphill Collection
|Sand Creek also
The Rescue of John Doy
Excerpt from: Kansas: a cyclopedia of
state history, embracing events,
institutions, industries, counties, cities,
towns, prominent persons, etc.; Chicago:
Standard Publishing Co., 1912.
John Brown Papers, 1826 – 1948.
Kansas State Historical Society.
Lt. Joseph A. Cramer's Letter to Major E.
W. Wynkoop, December 19, 1864. Rocky
Mountain News. “Sins of Sand Creek,”
September 15, 2000.
Soule, Hersa. Letter to Annie J. Soule,
August 6, 1865. From the private
materials of Byron Strom, Anne E.
A Little Satire on Emigrant Aid - Amasa
Soule and the Descandum Kansas
Improvement Company. Kansas State
Historical Quarterly, November, 1939 Vol.
8, No. 4.
Selected Articles about Silas Soule:
Michno, Gregory F. The Real Villains of
Sand Creek. Wild West, December 2003.
Perkins, LaVonne. Silas Soule, His
Widow Heresa (sic), and the Rest of the
Story. Denver: Denver Westerners
Roundup, Vol LV, no.2, Mar-Apr, 1999.
Milavec, Pam. Alias Emma S. Soule:
Corrected Historical Fictions Surrounding
Silas Soule and the Sand Creek
Massacre. Denver: Denver Westerners
Roundup, July-August, 2005.
Prentice, C. A. Captain Silas S. Soule, a
Pioneer Martyr. Denver: Colorado
Magazine, v.4, May, 1927; reprint,
Morse, O. E. An Attempted Rescue of
John Brown from Charlestown, VA Jail.
Kansas State Historical Society, Vol. VIII,
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