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The Sand Creek Massacre

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The sand creek massacre was an extremely sad event that will not be forgotten. It took place in the late fall of 1864, in southeast Colorado near Sand creek, hence the name. The leading factor of this event was that the settlers wanted the land that simply wasn’t theirs. Over time, they had been trying to push the natives onto less, and much worse land. It all began when Native Americans were blamed when a white family was murdered. Enraged, John Evans ordered the citizens to murder the unfriendly Native Americans and send the harmless ones to safer areas. In 1851, a treaty was passed saying that Sand Creek belonged to the Cheyenne tribe, so black Kettle was under the impression that they were safe.

They had many defense mechanisms out and ready, though. However, once the desire for land amongst the new Americans grew, a conflict began to arise. An organization named the Colorado Volunteers was sent to gather at the edge of Sand creek. The people who lived there did not want to fight, so they held up an an American flag as a symbol of peace. That did not stop Colonel John Chivington, their leader, from invading. Chivington was brutal. He ordered his army to scalp and murder everyone, no matter how old. So that is what they did. Over 400 native American tribesmen were killed consisting of mostly children, the elderly, and women. Back in 1864, they could not defend themselves as well as men, which is why they were targeted. After the massacre, the troops burned down the villages, as if they hadn’t already don enough. They paraded out of Sand Creek, carrying limbs as if they were trophies. Chivington even showed off his scalp collection to the publish with pride. Many of the victims were on their knees desperately begging for mercy, which the soldiers ignored completely.

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The Sand creek Massacre is so unique because of many reasons. First, it triggered many years of fighting in the area of the Great Plains. Also, despite the fact that the massacre was an incredibly gruesome and memorable event, somehow Americans have managed to forget all about it over the years. A reason for that may be that he battle occurred during the civil war, which everyone associates with the east coast. When you think of the civil war, you do not think of the westward expansion, which was actually a crucial factor. Lastly, it is being rediscovered.

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