The Sand Creek Massacre
War of the Rebellion Records Index
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We'll never forget
United States War Department:
The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies.
Four series, 128 volumes. Washington: Government Printing Office. 1880-1901
|OFFICIAL RECORDS OF THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR
The Rebellion Records are comprised of 128 volumes of military and government documents
compiled during the American Civil War. The official records contain numerous reports and
correspondence between principal officers and officials involved in the Sand Creek affair.
Most of the Sand Creek related documents appear in three specific volumes:
Vol. XXIIl - "Little Rock" - Part II (1863 operations)
Vol. XXXIV – "The Red River Campaign" - Parts I - IV (Jan-June 1864)
Vol. XLI – "Price’s Missouri Expedition" - Parts I - IV (July-Dec 1864)
The following documents are excerpts of dispatches, reports and correspondence pertaining to
events and circumstances leading to the Sand Creek Massacre. They have been extracted and
compiled in chronological order to aid your Sand Creek research.
1862 - Reports from the Battle at La Glorieta Pass
Series I, Vol. IX, Part I
1863 Operations - March-September 1863
As the war rages in the States, trouble grows in the Plains over broken Indian treaties. A personal conflict brews
between Colonel John Chivington and Colonels Samuel Tappan (1st Colo. Cav.) and Jesse Leavenworth (2nd Colo.
Cav.) over troop disbursement.
Harsh winter takes a toll on Indians and soldiers. Departmental lines reorganized as General Samuel Curtis assumes
command of Kansas and surrounding territories.
Maj. General Jonathan Pope, General Curtis and Colonel Chivington express concerns regarding the tenuous
relationship between whites and Indians throughout the midwest and western territories. They warn of impending
hostilities if white encroachment on Indian land continues.
Kansas departmental commanders bicker over dispersal of troops and district authority. General Halleck scolds
General Curtis for ordering troops beyond district lines. Colonel Chivington submits report from Indian Agent Sam
Colley regarding rumors of a brewing war between Kiowas, Utes and Arapahos, and a plan by Sioux warriors to
conduct summer raids on settlements in the Kansas/Colorado territories. Governor Evans requests additional troops
for Colorado's defense.
The first serious hostilities between Colorado troops and Cheyenne/Arapaho warrior clans break out at Fremont’s
Orchard. Colonel Chivington orders Major Downing, Lt. Dunn and Lt. Eayer to investigate and attack the offending
war parties, setting of a chain-reaction of skirmishes throughout eastern Colorado Territory.
Major Downing attacks Indian encampments in Colorado Territory, while General Curtis continues to push for the
mobilization of a militia to defend the western territory. Curtis assures Governor John Evans he is doing everything he
can, but his Kansas command is spread thin, and the Governor must help him lobby for additional troops. Major
Edward W. Wynkoop assumes command of Fort Lyon and finds the post in a dilapidated condition. Chivington warns
that the Cheyennes will have to be soundly whipped to quell the rumored uprising.
Indian war parties are cutting off mail and supply lines to Colorado. Hungate family massacred just 30 miles southeast
of Denver. While Governor Evans expresses fears of a rumored consolidation of warrior tribes, General Curtis also
receives ominous warnings about an Indian war, and the deteriorating conditions of his command in western Kansas.
Indian depredations increasing. Evans continues to lobby for more military protection of Platte road, but Curtis lacks
sufficient troops. Curtis realigns districts; scolds Chivington for spending too much time campaigning for Statehood
movement and his political campaign.
August 1864 - Aug. 1 - 12 Aug. 13 - 21 Aug. 22 - 31
Full scale war breaks out on the Plains. Warrior clans conduct reign of terror along the Platte, Blue and Republican
rivers in Nebraska and Kansas. Trains, ranches and farms are plundered, and settlers murdered or abducted. Evans
fears Colorado invasion and finally gets permission to raise the Colorado Third Volunteers militia for the purpose of
protecting the Platte Road to Denver.
Price's troop movement on the Missouri occupies the full attention of Curtis; consequently Evans' pleas for help are
widely ignored. Warriors continue to strike settlements, but Wynkoop has reached a tentative accord with Black Kettle
at the Smoky Hill Council.
September 29 - November 30, 1864
Operations against Indians in Nebraska and Colorado.
Overland Mail has been entirely choked off by warrior clans. Browne protests the execution of Reynolds gang by
Chivington's militia. P.E. Connor attempts to move in on Denver District.
Indian war on the Plains is escalating. Chivington moves Denver militia south towards Sand Creek.
November 29, 1864
Engagement on Sand Creek, Colorado Territory.
Plagued by scandal and controversy in the Kansas District, a beleaguered General Curtis now hears rumors
regarding Chivington's campaign at Sand Creek. With little explanation, he orders Colonel Thomas Moonlight to take
command in Denver, and sends Major Wynkoop back to Fort Lyon to investigate Chivington's attack.
The Rebellion Records, and all other historical documents pertaining to the Sand
Creek Massacre published on this web site have been compiled and transcribed
through various sources and by numerous typists over a 10-year period. They are
published here as a reference for the private use of site visitors and may not be
published on any other web site, newsgroup or any other form of printed, broadcast
or electronic media, or for any commercial purpose.
Although the records posted on this site have been carefully transcribed and may be
considered reliable, kclonewolf.com assumes no liability or responsibility for
typographical and spelling errors or omissions, some of which may be mistakes made
by the authors of the original transcripts. Sand Creek researchers are encouraged
to peruse and use these records for noncommercial study and reference, but you
should refer to the original documents at the National Archives, photocopies on the
Cornell University link below, or other verifiable sources, for official citation in any
scholarly or commercial presentation.
Photocopies of original transcripts
Transcribed text copy (NOTE! Some typographical errors exist!)
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