The Sand Creek Massacre
Rocky Mountain News Report on the Murder of Silas Soule
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We'll never forget
Captain Silas S. Soule
courtesy Byron Strom private materials,
Anne Hemphill Collection
Rocky Mountain News
April 24, 1865  p. 2  c. 1

The Homicide Last Night

Our city was thrown into a feverish excitement last evening by assassination of Captain S. S. Soule, of the
Colorado First.  The sad affair took place about half past ten o’clock, and was evidently coolly and deliberately
planned, and as systematically carried out.

For some time past the Captain had been in charge of the provost guard of the city and neighborhood, and his
duties in that capacity had, as a natural consequence, created many enemies.  Threats against his life have
been freely and frequently made – so we are informed – and no longer ago than yesterday he said that he was
expecting to be attacked.

In the evening he and his wife were visiting at the house of a friend and returned home between nine and ten o’
clock.  Shortly after, a number of pistol shots were fired in the upper part of the city, evidently to decoy him out,
and the Captain started to ascertain the cause.  Whilst passing along Lawrence Street, Near F, and directly in
front of the residence of Dr. Cunningham, he seems to have been met by the assassin, and the indications are
that both fired at the same instant, or so near together that the reports seemed simultaneous.  Probably the
Captain, expecting to be attacked, was in readiness, and when the other man presented his pistol, he did the
same, but the intended assassin fired an instant soonest, with but too fatal effect.  The ball entered the Captain’
s face at the point of the right cheek bone, pressing backward and upward, and lodging in the back part of the
head.  He fell back dead, appearing not to have moved a muscle after falling.  The other man, from the
indications, was wounded in the right hand or arm; how severely is not known.  His pistol was dropped at his
feet and he immediately started and ran towards the military camp in the upper part of the city, leaving a distinct
trail of blood where he passed along.  When the shots were fired they were standing about four feet apart, face
to face,

Within less than a minute after the fatal shot, one of the provost guard and Mr. Ruter reached the spot.  The
Captain was already dead, and his murderer had disappeared.  They alarmed Dr. Cunningham, and a guard
was sent for.  A number of persons, soldiers and civilians, soon gathered around, and after a few minutes the
body was removed to the building occupied by the officers of the Headquarters of the District.

The excitement this morning, when the facts became generally known, was intense.  Hundreds of citizens visited
the scene of the tragedy, and it has formed the burthen of conversation throughout the city all day.  Patrols
were dispatched in every direction, and it is hardly possible that he will escape more than for a day or two.  
Probably he will be overtaken to-day.  Of his identity we shall at present refrain from speaking, though there is
scarce a doubt but it is clearly known.  The cause is said to have grown out of an arrest made by the Captain in
the discharge of his duty as Provost Marshal.

Captain Soule was highly respected by his brother officers, and beloved by the men in his company.  He was
married in this city on the 1st inst., and consequently leaves a young wife to mourn this terrible and untimely
fate.  It is the hope of all that his murderer and his accomplices will be speedily brought to judgement, and a
punishment meted out to them such as the base crime deserves.
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