The Sand Creek Massacre - 8 Hours that changed the Great Plains forever

The Sand Creek Massacre: profound, symbolic, spiritual, controversial, a site unlike any other in America. 

As 675 cavalrymen came around a prairie bend, the camps of Chiefs Black Kettle, White Antelope, and Left Hand lay in the valley before them.  Chaotic, horrific, tumultuous, and bloody, the events of November 29, 1864 changed the course of history.


Cover of the Sand Creek Massacre GMP

Sand Creek GMP Public Comments

Please click to find out more about how to find out about the Sand Creek Massacre General Management Plan.

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Sand Creek Massacre NHS Today

Massacre, Mistrust, and Misery

Impacts of the Sand Creek Massacre included war, destruction, and relocation, leading to modern remembrance of its horror.

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Lindneaux's Painting of the Massacre

The Sand Creek Massacre

The unprovoked attack at Sand Creek carried huge importance for the Cheyenne and Arapaho, the Plains Indian nations, and for the United States.

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Cheyenne and Arapaho Leaders at the Camp Weld Conference in September of 1864

The Letters and the Leaders

Searching for peace, Cheyenne and Arapaho leaders met with Gov. John Evans and Col. Chivington in September of 1864 and left to report to Fort Lyon.

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John Evans - 1860s

"Proclamation to the Friendly Indians"

Territorial Governor John Evans issued a proclamation in June of 1864 to the "friendly Indians" to report to military forts to be safe from war.

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Sand Creek in October of 2007

Hungate Family Murdered

In June of 1864, the murder of the Hungate family set Colorado society on edge and led into the Sand Creek Massacre's atrocities.

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Cheyenne Chief often identified as Lean Bear, Washington D.C., 1863

Murder of Chief Lean Bear

Colorado Troops murdered Lean Bear on May 16, 1864, as he rode for a parley. This violence escalated the war and weakened the peace movement.

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Cheyenne and Arapaho Territory Map

A Tale of Two Treaties

Before Sand Creek and the Civil War, the Cheyenne and Arapaho peoples faced decreasing resources, gold seekers, and challenges to their survival.

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Bull Bear, Southern Cheyenne

The Southern Cheyenne Odyssey

The Southern Cheyenne traveled thousands of miles to Southeastern Colorado. Their odyssey took a horrific turn at Sand Creek in 1864.

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