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American Battlefields
Sand Creek   

Other Names: Chivington Massacre

Location: Kiowa County

Campaign: Sand Creek Campaign (1864)

Date(s): November 29-30, 1864

Principal Commanders: Col. John Chivington [US]; Black Kettle, Cheyenne [I]

Forces Engaged: Third Colorado Regiment (approx. 700 men) [US]; 500 Cheyennes and a few Arapahos [I]

Estimated Casualties: Total unknown (US unknown; I 200)

Description: Scattered Indian raids had caused much ill-will between the white settlers and the Native Americans. In the autumn, Territorial (Colorado) officers had offered a vague amnesty if Indians reported to army forts. Black Kettle with many Cheyennes and a few Arapahos, believing themselves to be protected, established a winter camp about 40 miles from Fort Lyon. On November 29, Col. John Chivington, who advocated Indian extermination, arrived near the camp, having marched there from Fort Lyon. In spite of the American flag and a white flag flying over the camp, the troops attacked, killing and mutilating about 200 of the Indians, two-thirds of whom were women and children.

Result(s): Union victory (massacre)

CWSAC Reference #: CO001

Preservation Priority: II.2 (Class B)

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