Sand Creek Massacre

Sand Creek Massacre

Cheyenne Chief Black Kettle was a major advocate for peace and coexistence between white settlers and his Native Americans. He even met President Lincoln once to negotiate a lasting peace between Americans and Cheyenne. Lincoln gave him an American flag and told him that so long as it flew in their camp, no American would harm them. Colorado cavalry led by Colonel John Chivington was assigned to searching for aggressive natives, but after months they came up empty-handed. So they decided to attack Black Kettle's village to avoid embarrassment in front of the government. They attacked in the middle of the night while everyone was sleeping. Eyewitnesses recount women, children, and men being run down as they tried desperately to flee across a frozen river. Black Kettle ran into the middle of the battle waving the American flag and screaming that they were friends of America, but he was forced to drop the flag and flee as well. Black Kettle miraculously survived, but most of his clan did not, and the few that survived the battle mostly died of hypothermia and starvation. Cavalrymen raped live and dead women, including children, and cut off male and female genitals, and strapped them to their horses as decorations.

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