The Sand Creek Massacre
Reports and Dispatches - June 1864
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JUNE 1864

FORT LYON, COLO. TER., June 3, 1864.
Lieutenant J. S. MAYNARD,
Actq. Asst. Adjt. General, District of Colorado:
SIR: I have the honor to report, for the information of the colonel commanding, that I have just received a dispatch from Lieutenant
Wilson, on outpost duty, to the effect that he had certain information of the approach of a body of Texans toward this post. From a
Government wagon-master he had learned of the capture of a train on the Cimarron, by what is supposed to be an advance guard
of the rebels. The two sections of the independent battery left here this morning for Fort Larned. I have sent an order for them to halt
until further orders. I will send by this express for any detachments en route to this post from the west to make all haste. I have no
guns, the two howitzers belonging to Lieutenant Eayre's command having been detained at Larned by the commanding officer of
that post. I will be as vigilant as possible--give them another taste of Pigeon's Ranch and Apache Cañon and see how they like it. I
can hold my own against twice my number, from the fact of my men and horses being fresh, while theirs must be the contrary. Will
send forward dispatch when anything of importance transpires.
I am, sir, with respect, your obedient servant,
Major, Commanding Fort Lyon

“War of the Rebellion” (XLVI, Part IV, p. 208)



Denver, Colo. Ter., June 3, 1864.
Major-General CURTIS,
Commanding Department of Kansas:

DEAR GENERAL: I inclose copies of correspondence in relation to defense against hostile Indians. It will be destruction and death
to Colorado if our lines of communication are cut off, or if they are not kept so securely guarded as that freighters will not be afraid
to cross the plains, especially by the Platte River, by which our subsistence comes. We are now short of provisions and but few
trains are on the way. I would respectfully ask that our troops may be allowed to defend us and whip these red-skin rebels into
submission at once.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Governor of Colorado Territory.

[Inclosure. No. 1.]


Denver, June 3, 1864.
Commanding District of Colorado:

SIR: I inclose for your consideration a copy of a letter received from H. M. Fosdick. I have no doubt of the correctness of the
statements therein made, and of the propriety of the request; and I hope that the exigencies of the service will permit the presence
of an adequate military force in his neighborhood while the present danger from Indian hostilities exists.
Your obedient servant,
Governor of Colorado Territory.

BOONEVILLE, COLO. TER., May 29, 1864.
Governor, &c.:
SIR: May I beg of you, in behalf of my own family and others in this settlement, if not incompatible with the public interest, to allow
the present military or an adequate force to remain at Camp Fillmore for defense of our border. It is at this point the Indians cross to
and from the Ute fights, and it is here that women have been grossly abused, cattle killed, farmers driven from their lands, and fear
and danger have run riot. Had I the honor of Colonel Chivington's acquaintance I would write him, but Shoup advises me to lay the
matter before you, and views it as I do, a matter of importance. Leaving my family here alone, as I am forced to, I am in constant
dread that they may be abused by the Indians that pass and repass at this season of the year. I am not naturally timid, nor would I
thus plead did I not know whereof I affirm. In this I am expressing the views of the whole settlement, and I am, faithfully, yours,

[Inclosure No. 2.]
Denver, Colo. Ter., June 3, 1864.
Territory of Colorado:
GOVERNOR: I am in receipt of your letter of this date, inclosing letter of Mr. Fosdick, on subject of protection from apprehended
Indian troubles on the Arkansas River, near Booneville, in reference to which I now have the honor to state in this formal manner
the same I have verbally mentioned to you, that as a soldier I am compelled to obey the orders of my superior officers. These
orders are to concentrate all my available forces on the extreme southeast corner of this district, from which you will readily
perceive, what I write with regret, that I cannot comply with the above-named request.

Since my assuming the command here it has always been my aim to protect all our population from all possible danger, and from
the orders under which I am acting, part of which are above quoted, you will readily see that I cannot keep the company now in the
neighborhood of Booneville at its present station and obey my orders to send it to the extreme southeast part of the district. I
inclose herewith copy of a letter from Lieutenant Shoup, commanding Camp Fillmore, which may serve to show you that there is
not all the cause to fear that Mr. Fosdick apprehends. Yet, sir, believe me I am not insensible to the hourly danger of our
outsettlements from the Indians, and shall always, as heretofore, do all in my power to protect them.
I am, Governor, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel First Cavalry of Colorado, Commanding District.

CAMP FILLMORE, COLO. TER., May 30, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 27th instant, with instructions not to break camp, to send
detachment on scout, &c., all of which will be promptly and strictly executed. Since sending you the extract taken from Major
Wynkoop's letter, I have seen and conversed with Mrs. D. J. Hayden, of Pueblo, and Mrs. A. M. Robb, of the Huerfano, who have just
arrived from the State by the Arkansas route, and who state that they were escorted from Fort Larned to Fort Lyon by Lieutenant
Eayre. Lieutenant E. informed them that when within one day's march of Larned he was attacked by the Cheyenne Indians, had a
running fight for 7 or 8 miles, had 3 or 4 killed; thinks that many of the Indians were killed, including one of the chiefs; also, that
three trains have been robbed of all their animals by the Indians, and a man on the Big Bend on the Arkansas, who had a squaw
for his wife, has lost all of his stock, the Indians making him ride off one of his own animals. Several other ranches are said to be
robbed on the kansas frontier. Surely this looks like trouble. Now these fellows will get all the fighting they want. I believe there are
no Indians in this locality at present, but will send out the party of 15 men to see if there are any bands spying around.
I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,
First Lieutenant, First Cav. of Colo., Commanding Camp Fillmore.

P. S.-Since writing the above, Lieutenant Eayre has arrived at this camp and confirmed all I have written. He will be in Denver in four
days; will give you all the particulars in detail on his arrival.

“War of the Rebellion” (XLVI, Part IV, pp. 206-208)



In Field, near Fort Lyon, Colo. Ter., June 11, 1864.

Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of Kansas:
MAJOR: I have the honor to report that I arrived here this morning after four days' hard staging. I find that the troops are well
stationed. Besides any reasonable amount of escort duty, they are scouting the country far and near. There are no Indians at or
near the road between here and Larned. A detachment has been over on Cimarron to where the Mexican train was captured, and
can find no signs of any one in all that country. Have now sent a large command over on the Red River to look after them. From all I
can find out, it was a party who knew all about the specie the man owning the train had, and had followed near it from Chihuahua.
General Carleton, commanding Department of New Mexico, has also sent troops from Fort Union after the band. This may have
been the advance of a large force from Texas, but I think not. I can soon tell definitely as to the facts in the case.

The Kiowas and Cheyennes are determined on war, and will have to be soundly thrashed before they will be quiet. The
Comanches and Apaches seem determined to be at peace; still the warlike tribes are pressing them hard to join them in fighting
the whites, and it is hard to tell what they will do. They say no fight. As I stated a few days in a dispatch, the waters are and have
been so unprecedentedly high that troops will not be here as soon as I reported they would be. Captain Parmeter, at Larned, got a
scare. Ordered kept all the troops of Lieutenant Eayre's command at Larned, and Major Wynkoop, commanding this post, got a
scare on, and kept the two sections of the First Battery just below this post. They will march again to-morrow. I regret this delay in
sending balance of battery to Larned, but knew nothing of it until my arrival here. No troops will hereafter be detained here who are
ordered away.

I find on my arrival here that the detachment that Captain Parmetar kept at Larned that was designed to be returned here have
arrived, but he had kept the howitzers. I consider this leaves us entirely unsafe either against Texans or Indians. The major-general
commanding told me they would be returned for me to use with my cavalry, and I suppose it is still his design to have it so. I so
stated to the commanding officer at Larned, but he has acted differently. Hope the major-general will let him know what his wishes
are in the matter. If the Indians can be taken care of on the Platte by General Mitchell, I can keep the route between Larned and Lyon
clear of Indians and rebels, and, if you so direct, can make campaign into Texas, or after Indians on Smoky Hill and Republican.
Will report twice a week, and oftener if anything important occurs. Will select officer to act on staff as engineer, and will make report
on subject of location of posts. The suggestion made some time ago by the major-general that Hickory Rodgers' place was best
place to operate from was founded, as I took it, from the impression that it was below this post on the Arkansas River. On the
contrary, it is 90 miles above this post on this river. Have two companies now 70 miles below this post, and will send more to-
morrow or next day.

I am, major, with much respect, your obedient servant,
Col. First Cavalry of Colorado, Commanding District.

“War of the Rebellion” (XLVI, Part IV  pp. 318-319)


Denver, Colo. Ter., June 16, 1864.

Major S. G. COLLEY,
Fort Lyon, Colo. Ter.:
SIR: You will immediately make necessary arrangements for the feeding and support of all the friendly Indians of the Cheyenne
and Arapahoe Indians at Fort Lyon, and direct the friendly Comanches and Kiowas, if any, to remain at Fort Larned. You will make a
requisition on the military commander of the post for subsistence for the friendly Indians of his neighborhood. If no agent there to
attend to this deputize some one to do it. These friendly bands must be collected at places of rendezvous and all intercourse
between them and tribes or individuals engaged in warfare with us prohibited. This arrangement will tend to withdraw from the
conflict all who are not thoroughly identified with the hostile movement, and by affording a safe refuge, will gradually collect those
who may become tired of war and desire peace. The war is opened in earnest, and upon your efforts to keep quiet the friendly as
nucleus for peace will depend its duration to some extend at least. You can send word to all these tribes to come as directed
above, but do not allow the families of those at war to be introduced into the friendly camp. I have established a camp for our
northern friendly bands on Cache la Poudre, and as soon as my plan is approved by the military, I will issue a proclamation to the
Indians. Please spare no effort to carry out this instruction, and keep me advised by every mail of the situation.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Governor and Ex Officio Supt. of Indian Affairs.

[Inclosure No. 2.]
Denver, Colo. Ter., June 29, 1864.
Major S. G. COLLEY,
U. S. Indian Agent, Fort Lyon, Colo. Ter.:
DEAR SIR: I inclose a circular to the Indians of the plains. You will by every means you can get the contents to all of these Indians,
as many that are now hostile may come to the friendly camp, and when they all do the war will be ended. Use the utmost economy
in providing for those who come in, as the Secretary of the Interior confines me to the amount of our appropriations, and they may
be exhausted before the summer is out. You will arrange to carry out the plan of the circular at Lyon and Larned. You will use your
utmost vigilance to ascertain how many of your Indians are hostile, where they are, and what plans they propose, and report to me
by every mail at least. For this purpose you will enlist the active aid of Mr. John S. Smith and his son, and of such other parties as
you may judge can be of essential service. Mr. C. A. Cook reports to me that Mr. Bent has given you important information in regard
to the plans and strength of the hostile combinations on the plains. Please be careful and report to me in detail all of the reliable
information you can get promptly, as above directed.
I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Governor of Colorado.



Denver, June 27, 1864.
Agents, interpreters, and traders will inform the friendly Indians of the plains that some members of their tribes have gone to war
with the white people. They steal stock and run it off, hoping to escape detection and punishment. In some instances they have
attacked and killed soldiers and murdered peaceable citizens. For this the Great Father is angry, and will certainly hunt them out
and punish them, but he does not want to injure those who remain friendly to the whites. He desires to protect and take care of
them. For this purpose I direct that all friendly Indians keep away from those who are at war, and go to places of safety. Friendly
Arapahoes and Cheyennes belonging on the Arkansas River will go to Major Colley, U. S. Indian agent at Fort Lyon, who will give
them provisions, and show them a place of safety. Friendly Kiowas and Comanches will go to Fort Larned, where they will be cared
for in the same way. Friendly Sioux will go to their agent at Fort Laramie for directions. Friendly Arapahoes and Cheyennes of the
Upper Platte will go to Camp Collins on the Cache la Poudre, where they will be assigned a place of safety and provisions will be
given them.

The object of this is to prevent friendly Indians from being killed through mistake. None but those who intend to be friendly with the
whites must come to these places. The families of those who have gone to war with the whites must be kept away from among the
friendly Indians. The war on hostile Indians will be continued until they are all effectually subdued.
Governor of Colorado and Superintendent of Indian Affairs.

“War of the Rebellion” (LIII, Part I, pp. 963-964)


FORT LYON, COLO, TER., June 27, 1864.
Lieut. H. L. ROCKWELL,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Military Dist. of Colorado:
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to transmit, for the information of the colonel commanding, the following report of all the information
I could gain by means of scouts, thrown over toward the border of Texas, in the neighborhood of the Cimarron and Red Rivers, in
regard to the movements of an enemy in the direction of Texas:

The first scouting party that left this post for that purpose under my orders started on the 16th of May, 1864, was gone eight days
and returned, bringing no information whatever.

The next, 6th of June, reached a point north of Cimarron crossing, finding a train of wagons that had been attacked by a party of
men, numbering about 30, from which they had taken 70 head of mules and $10,000 in money, taking with the mules the harness,
the singletrees, and fifth chains, all this occurring about the 26th day of May, 1864. The marauding party had evidently departed
from the scene of their depredation in a southwesterly direction. Since the above-mentioned depredations, various rumors being
circulated of the approach of a large body of Texans, I have kept scouting parties constantly out; the last report being on the 26th of
June, 1864, from Lieutenant Oster, First Cavalry of Colorado, commanding detachment of 15 men on scout.

He left this post June 7, 1864, proceeded to Bent's old fort, 35 miles west of Fort Lyon, crossed the Arkansas River, and traveled
southeast 116 miles; crossed the Cimarron, and from thence proceeded 65 miles due south. He was then forced to return 25
miles and traveled nearly due west 60 miles; struck a trail leading due west, which crossed Rabbit Ear Creek 50 miles south of the
Santa Fé road. Here he found evidences of some horses and mules having passed toward the west within a space of ten days.
Having but three days' rations remaining he was obliged to return, traveling northeast 70 miles; crossing the Cimarron 15 miles
west of the Santa Fé, traveled due north 93 miles to this post. The distance traveled, 464 miles; time, 17 days; miles traveled per
day, 27 5/17.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
I am, with respect, your obedient servant,
Major First Cavalry of Colorado, Commanding Post

“War of the Rebellion” (XLVI, Part IV, p. 576)
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