The Sand Creek Massacre
Reports and Dispatches
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MAY 1864

Eayer to Chivington – Kills Dog Soldier Chief Lean Bear

Wynkoop to Maynard – Large Cheyenne camp gathering in Fort Lyon vicinity.

Wynkoop to Maynard – Regarding Eayer report, mistakenly identifies chief killed by Eayer’s troops as Black Kettle.

Evans to Curtis – Governor urgently requests military support to defend Denver (with enclosures).

Chivington to Wynkoop – Regarding whiskey selling to Indians at Lt. Wilson’s camp.

Additional Reports:

Incident at Fremont's Orchard - Military correspondence.
Lt. George S. Eayer Campaign, April/May 1864 – collection of military correspondence leading to the killing of   
Dog Soldier Chief Lean Bear.
Wynkoop to Chivington - Wynkoop takes command of Ft. Lyon; Chivington cautions: "The Cheyennes will have to be soundly
whipped before they will be quiet."

JUNE 1864

Wynkoop to Maynard – Regarding Reynolds Gang attacking train at Cimarron Crossing.

Evans to Curtis – Continues pleas for military support.

Chivington to Curtis – “The Kiowas and Cheyennes are determined on war . . .”

Evans to Colley – Informs the Cheyenne/Arapaho Agent of first proclamation.

Wynkoop to Chivington – Report of unsuccessful hunt for Reynolds Gang.

Additional Reports:

The Hungate Massacre - Reports regarding murder of Hungate family by Arapaho warriors.
Evans to Secretary Stanton - Evans lobbies War Department for a volunteer militia to protect Denver City.
Major T.I. McKenny - Inspector General warns of troubles brewing at Fort Larned.

JULY 1864

Curtis to Halleck – “The Indian difficulties west of this point are serious . . .”

Curtis to Halleck – Indian depredations at Saline, KS.


Halleck to Evans – Difficulties in procuring horses to mount a volunteer militia.

Curtis to Halleck – Curtis unsuccessful in hunting Indian war parties.

Wynkoop to Chivington – Troubles with Satanta’s Kiowa war party raids on the Arkansas.

Curtis to Halleck – Northern war parties strike on the Little Blue near Ft. Kearney, Nebraska.

Wynkoop to Chivington – Troubles with Kiowas and Arapahos near Sand Creek; reports from Wynkoop’s command regarding

Colley to Evans – “It looks at present as though we shall have to fight them all . . .”

Chivington to Curtis – Indians have appeared near Denver.

Halleck to Curtis – Overland mail line needs more protection.

Mitchell to Halleck – “I am raising militia as fast as I can . . .”

Curtis to Halleck – Action being taken to stop war parties in Nebraska.

Reports to Chivington – regarding hostile Indian attacks in Fort Lyon vicinity.

Curtis to Halleck – Fight with Cheyennes on the Republican.

Evans to Stanton – “It is impossible to exaggerate our danger . . .”

Evans & Chivington to Stanton – “Unlimited information of contemplated attack by a large body of Indians . . .”

Curtis to Halleck – “Some fifty murders have been committed by Indians on this line . . .”

Additional Reports:

Evans to Stanton and Dole - Continues plea for military assistance.
Chivington to Curtis - Requests permission to execute Reynolds Gang.


Evans to Stanton – “Pray give positive orders for our second Colorado cavalry to come out . . .”

Evans to Chivington – Proposition of peace received from Black Kettle.  Enclosure from Colley describing One Eye’s meeting
with Wynkoop.

Curtis to Halleck – Curtis still unsuccessful in engaging Indian war parties.

Wynkoop to Blunt – Smoky Hill Council with Black Kettle and other chiefs.

Evans to Colley – Response to Colley regarding Wynkoop’s Smoky Hill expedition.

Curtis to Halleck – Describes difficulties in separating friendly from hostile Indian bands.

Chivington to Stanton – Requests permission to intercept New Mexico supply train for purpose of outfitting the new Colorado

Halleck to Chivington – Denies Chivington request to divert New Mexico train.

Chivington to Halleck – Attempts to persuade Halleck to change his mind.

Halleck to Chivington – Denies request.

Halleck to Curtis – Urges Curtis to keep 2nd Colorado cavalry near Kansas City.

Chivington to Curtis – Wynkoop bringing Black Kettle to Denver.  Requests Curtis to refrain from making peace.

Curtis to Halleck – “My main dependence must be in militia . . .”

Evans to Curtis – Report of Weld Council.

Evans to Colley – Report of Weld Council – “I have declined to make any treaty with them, lest it might embarrass the military
operations against the hostile Indians of the plains . . .”


Curtis to Halleck – Blunt’s fight with Arapahos.

Halleck to Connor – “Give all the protection in your power to the overland route between you and Fort Kearney, without regard
to department lines . . .”

Additional Reports:

Attorney Samuel E. Browne - To General Curtis regarding killing of Reynolds prisoners.
Captain David Nichols - Reports to Colonel Chivington regarding attack on Dog Soldier Big Wolf's camp.


Curtis/Henning: Special Orders – Major Wynkoop is relieved of duty at Fort Lyon.  Major Anthony ordered to assume command.

Anthony to Henning – Report from Fort Lyon.

Cramer to Wynkoop – “Having learned with regret that you have been relieved and ordered to Fort Leavenworth . . .”

Endorsement of Cramer’s letter to Wynkoop

Anthony endorses Cramer’s letter

Citizens of Arkansas Valley endorse Wynkoop

Chivington – First report of attack at Sand Creek

Additional Reports:

Chivington dispatch printed in the Rocky Mountain News after the attack at Sand Creek.


Curtis to Halleck – “Indian troubles now demand all my force, and large numbers are crowding into Fort Lyon as prisoners of
war . . .”

Curtis to Henning -  “The treaty operations at Lyon greatly embarrass matters, and I hope you have disposed of Major
Wynkoop and directed a change for the better . . .”

Curtis to Halleck – Reports that Chivington killed over 400 at Sand Creek.

Chivington to Curtis – Official Sand Creek report: “Between five and six hundred Indians were left dead upon the field . . .”   “Of
the conduct of the two battalions of the 1st regiment I have but to remark that they sustained their reputation as second to
none . . .”

Curtis to Halleck – “There is so much political and personal strife in our service, it is almost impossible to get an honest,
impartial determination of facts . . .”

Ford Special Order – Major Wynkoop order to return to Fort Lyon. .”Maj. E. W. Wynkoop, upon his arrival at Fort Lyon, will
make a thorough investigation of the recent operations against the Indians in that part of the District of Upper Arkansas . . .”

Additional Reports:

Reports of Chivington's Officers - after the attack at Sand Creek
Rocky Mountain News Editorials - regarding the attack at Sand Creek:  "Among the killed were all the Cheyenne chiefs, Black
Kettle, White Antelope, Little Robe, Left Hand, Knock Knee, One Eye, and another, name unknown. Not a single prominent
man of the tribe remains, and the tribe itself is almost annihilated..."


Halleck to Curtis – “Statements from respectable sources have been received here that the conduct of Colonel Chivington's
command towards the friendly Indians has been a series of outrages calculated to make them all hostile . . .”

War Department – Letter from J.B. Chaffee suggests increased Indian hostilities have been  “incited mainly by the recent attack
of Colonel Chivington at Fort Lyons (sic) . . .”

Curtis to Halleck – “Your despatch (sic) of yesterday, directing me to investigate Colonel Chivington's conduct towards the
Indians, is received, and will be obeyed . . .”

Affidavit of John Smith regarding Sand Creek attack

Wynkoop to Ford – Report of investigation into Chivington’s attack at Sand Creek

Curtis to Evans – Defends his actions related to the Indian troubles of 1864

Curtis to Halleck – regarding Evans’ accusations


Moonlight to Tappan – Instructions regarding investigation into Sand Creek Massacre
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1863 Reports
November 10, 1863 - Governor Evans to Commissioner Dole - Rumors of an Indian confederacy spreading.
November 24, 1863 - Major Anthony from Fort Lyon re conditions - "The Indians are all very destitute this season..."
1864-1865 Reports
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“War of the Rebellion” - United States War Dept.  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

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Massacre at Sand Creek
Silas Soule
Ned Wynkoop & the Lonely Road
From Sand Creek
Sand Creek and the
Tragic End of a Lifeway
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