Colonel John Chivington
As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
In reading the troubling propaganda of SC Gwynne in his racist condemnation of Americans during the Indian terror wars, three blatant realities appear, in namely Christian Protestants were to blame for being Americans. George Custer was a failure, and Colonel Chivington of the Sand Creek Massacre led nothing but drunks and scoundrels.
In examining the realities of the Fighting Parson, who was of the mode of the Methodists who used to beat the hell out of thugs and bullies in settlements who tried to beat the hell out of pastors, a history of the Battle of Sand Creek, which reveals not a massacre, but instead an actual battle between armed terrorists and Americans under the command of Colonel Chivington.
There are always charges of women and children being killed. The reality is women and children were always involved in the fighting, and often killed American Soldiers with "toy bows and arrows".
In the following account facts begin emerging in the detractors of Colonel Chivington created many myths which the Indian Lovers exploited. Situations as the Indians were under truce. The Indians were flying an American flag to show they were not hostile. Women and children were killed.
To counter this, two glaring facts emerged in the Cheyenne fired on the Americans first. Second, after the battle, fresh scalps of women and children were located in the camp. In other words, the terrorists in the camp, under truce, had been raping, torturing and murdering American women and children.
No matter the propaganda, these were hostiles as all camps were. Indians lied, had little control over their people and lied constantly, and the fact was these were terrorists who if they had gotten the upper hand against Colonel Chivington's troops, would have scalped, tortured and murdered all of them too.
In military review of the Colonel's battle plan, he was very astute. In fact, considering this was 1864, during the Civil War, and the methods of Indian warfare had not been learned in leaders like General George Custer, which began against terrorist Cheyenne at the Washita, Chivington had profound insight into how to fight mobile terrorists.
The Colonel's first order was to deprive the Indians of their most lethal weapon, and that was mobility. He began rounding up the horses before engaging the Indians. In Chivington's order of battle, he was going to acquire the horses, and then with the Indians pinned down, negotiate with them to surrender.
Those facts are not ever mentioned in the propaganda of liberals who always blame Americans first and last and degrade them.
What took place though was a number of horses panicked and ran into the Cheyenne camp. At this point the troops followed into the camp and this is where the battle began, as the Indians opened fire on the Americans first.
Chivington on seeing part of his command was being pressed, ordered a general advance to relieve them. One must remember that these men of Colorado, had suffered under the terrorism of Indians in it was a real event which repeated often. Babies had their heads bashed in. Women were gang raped and either murdered or made slaves. Men were always tortured for hours and murdered, as homes were burned, and all possessions looted or destroyed.
The Fighting Parson awaited the outcome of the maneuver for the seizure of the Indians' mounts. It was his intention, after securing their means of transportation, to engage them in parley on terms of surrender. However, the northerly herd of ponies took alarm and ran for the camp. In trying to cut them off, Wil- son's men were forced to run in close to Black Kettle's lodge, where firing broke out. It was soon apparent that they were heavily engaged, after capturing approximately half of the four hundred or more animals in the herd. With a fight against the savages starting before their eyes, the men of the Third were becoming increasingly difficult for their officers to hold in line. Accordingly, and with no prospects of avoiding a full scale engagement, Chivington ordered a general advance in support of Wilson's hard pressed troops. The men surged forward, seething with long pent up fury and bent on dealing retribution for the long reign of terror, replete with murder, torture and rape. Anthony's battalion advanced along the south bank of the creek to cover the left flank, and Lieutenant Wilson was assigned to the right flank. Led by their giant commander, who rode through their ranks shouting words of encouragement, the main body of troops formed by the Third Regiment advanced rapidly toward the center of the village, firing as they came. They were soon joined by the battalion which had captured the larger pony herd, and the entire group advanced on the camp.
The troops were facing 400 armed terrorists who were supplemented by 100 women who were armed and firing at the Soldiers too. This was fixed position and it was not an easy task for the troops to advance on or to deal with this many armed hostiles.
This is where the depriving the Indians of mobility revealed it's genius and military prowess, because if the Indians had become mounted, it would have changed the entire order of battle.
As the battle ensued 100 armed terrorists set up a skirmish line to stop the troops advance and to provide cover for the fleeing women, children and supplies.
The troops pursued across Sand Creek and met stiff resistance there, outside the camp. That is outside the camp and not in the camp, where the battle took place, with the women and children already out of reach of the United States military.
Those who stayed in the women and children, were fighting beside the men in trying to kill the Americans.
The troops actually were stopped here at Sand Creek. It was at this juncture of the battle that Colonel Chivington having brought up howitzers, opened fire to repulse the Indian line. The first salvo breached the Indian lines, and the Americans pressed the attack again. This time following up with troops outflanking the Indian lines.
With some men out of action to serve as guards for the cap- tured horses and on other special assignments, the strength of the attacking force was reduced to about seven hundred. The exact number of Indians is unknown, but based on the common estimate of three warriors to a lodge, it appears that there were about four hundred fighting men. There may have been more, since, as an advance base of a tribe at war, the camp at Sand Creek contained an unusually high percentage of males. In any event, including the squaws without young children who stayed and fought with the men, Chivington was opposed by approxi- mately five hundred hard fighting Indians. Had he not captured their ponies, which were superior to the mounts of the troops, they would have been extremely difficult to defeat, since they were excellent horsemen. As it was, all odds were against a successful defense by the red men. Although they were well armed, in some cases better than the soldiers, they were unaccus- tomed to fighting on foot, and were opposed by a relentless foe in superior numbers and equipped with artillery. Nevertheless, they fought fiercely and skillfully in conformity with the repu- tation of their warlike tribe. Early in the engagement, one hundred warriors formed a line northwest of the village, which covered the escape of noncom- batant women and children. The direction of the attack left routes open for them to leave the danger area, either westward up the valley of Sand Creek or northward over the hills to the Smoky Hill River. The straggling ponies driven into camp by Wilson's men were caught, and many of the squaws and most of the children took them and fled. As the main body of troops approached the village, a large number of these refugees were seen in the distance, hurrying northward on their horses. Crossing the creek, Shoup's men proceeded along the north bank to the edge of the village, where they met the Indians, and the battle began in earnest. Colonel Chivington sat on his horse in the thick of the fight, calmly directing his troops, but did not fire a shot himself. Many of the savages were armed with rifles, many had revolvers, and all had bows and arrows. The war- riors in the defense line were well armed and put up a stiff fight. They turned back the first charge of Shoup's advance force, and the soldiers fell back to reorganize for another assault. The artil- lery had been brought up when the attack started, and two of the howitzers were in place on a ridge within range of the line of Indians. Chivington ordered them into action, and the first salvo made a breach in the line. The soldiers then attacked on the front and both flanks, forcing the defenders back. Leaving a number of their dead on the field, the savages retreated slowly up the creek, fighting as they went.
At this point, the Indians were in retreat, but they had prepared for the Americans. to a fall back position, almost a mile away with rifle pits and hiding behind the banks of Sand Creek.
It was here in this cover that hand to hand fighting took place. It was this location by the accounts that the squaws using arms attacking the troops were killed in combat.
The battle lines stretched out for 3 miles and continued hot for the entire day. Colonel Chivington noting the situation, darkness approaching and suspecting other terrorists from other camps would arrive to counter attack, called for a fall back to the Cheyenne camp as a defensible position.
Meanwhile, a number of other Indians had retired upstream three quarters of a mile to a point where the banks rose from three to ten feet on each side of a sandy creek bed about three hundred yards wide. Here they took refuge in pits or trenches which apparently had previously been dug for just such an emergency. As the Indians fell back, some took cover in the tall grass and sagebrush, but most found shelter in the rifle pits. Bullets filled the air in all directions, and many hand-to-hand combats took place all over the field. Black Kettle was wounded in one of these encounters, but managed to kill his opponent. Several squaws were shot while fighting beside the men, using spears, bows and arrows and muskets with as much dexterity as the warriors; and several children were struck by stray bullets. 30 The Indians fought stubbornly, falling back from one posi- tion to another under sharp attack by the troops, until, finally, outnumbered and hard pressed, they abandoned organized re- sistance and dispersed in all directions. Ultimately, all of the savages left in the fight retired to the creek banks, and occupied the rifle pits from which they fired at the troops in relative safety. The various companies of soldiers became disorganized early in the battle and fought in small groups whenever a few Indians were encountered. After a time the engagement extended up and down the creek bed for about three miles above the camp, with the savages firing constantly from their shelters along the creek and the troops replying with a continuous fusillade, shooting at every Indian that came within range of their guns. The fighting continued until late in the day, when Chivington became apprehensive of a counterattack by a large body of sav- ages thought to be approaching from the Smoky Hill encamp- ment, and ordered his scattered forces to reassemble in the In- dian camp. As the returning troops marched down the creek, they were repeatedly fired on by the warriors hidden behind the banks. The soldiers returned this fire, but the savages were so well protected that the shots were generally ineffective. Just above the camp, where the heaviest fighting had taken place early in the day, the soldiers observed the bodies of many dead Indians, including a few squaws.
It was now 4 o'clock in the afternoon. The Americans has been engaged since dawn, had fought hard all day (remarkable for drunks as CS Gwynne slandered them as), and under stiff fire, returned to the camp.
Here Chivington revealed his astute command of command, in he formed a defensive box square, placed his animals on the inside, fed his men a good supper, and allowed them to sleep.
It is interesting here that CS Gwynne in his diatribes can not brag enough about his favorite soldier in Ranald McKenzie who made the worst mistakes in combat against the Comanche, and should have faced court martial, once lost 3000 horses under his command, but Chivington prosecuting an astute battle for most of a day, is degraded as a massacre and his men of course were low lifes and drunks, based on the charges of people who had it out for Colonel Chivington.
When the troops completed their concentration at about four o'clock in the afternoon, the fighting came to an end, after hav- ing continued without cessation since sunrise. Chivington im- mediately formed his command in a hollow square with the ani- mals on the inside. Supper was provided from the field rations carried by the men, and the exhausted soldiers were soon sleep- ing soundly, with their guns in their arms as ordered by the expe- dition commander. To eliminate the use of the Indian camp as a base for further hostile operations, Chivington ordered it de- stroyed, and the lodges beyond the area occupied by the troops were set on fire in the early evening. An examination of the camp before its destruction gave abun- dant evidence of the hostile character of its occupants. The troops found a large quantity of food staples, wearing apparel and other belongings which obviously formed a part of the loot secured in attacks on wagon trains and ranches. 34 That evening Dr. Caleb S. Birdsall, Assistant Surgeon of the Third Regiment, was dressing soldiers' wounds in a lodge which had been pressed into service as a first aid station, when a soldier appeared in the entrance. "What do you think of these, 'Doc,' " he said, exhibit- ing a half dozen scalps which he held in his hand. The doctor examined them closely and noted that, on one or two, the skin and flesh attached to the hair was quite moist. "They are un- doubtedly white scalps," he replied, "and at least one of them was taken from the head not more than ten days ago." 35 A great many white scalps were also seen in the village by Dr. T. P. Bell, Surgeon of the Third Regiment, who expressed the opinion that some were quite freshly taken, including one that was not over five to eight days old. 36 In many cases the texture of the hair and its length indicated that the scalps were those of women and children.
As the last paragraph proves, a surgeon identified in autopsy the scalps of numerous American women and children in the Cheyenne camp. These Cheyenne were terrorists, and no truce would have protected them. The fact is the Indians made truce to create base camps to slaughter Americans from, gain gifts and then break the truce once spring came and the ponies could carry the terrorists to the settlements again.
By the above facts, Colonel Chivington and his Colorado troops were humans in combat against terrorists, that they wanted revenge against and they prosecuted that revenge to it's fullest in brisk combat. Gwynne quotes Kit Carson speaking of innocent women and children. The west was full of half stories of massacres, which were not massacres which an ignorant comment would be created to condemn Americans. The facts prove otherwise in Colonel Chivington acted completely responsibly and his command was in combat prosecuting a battle against terrorists, who if they had gotten the upper hand, would have butchered these Americans too, as they would later join in the butchery of the 7th Cavalry at Little Big Horn.
There was not a massacre at Sand Creek. It was combat and the reason it was so successful was due to the fact that Colonel Chivington had produced a successful battle plan, that even when things went wrong, he had prepared for those circumstances perfectly.
The Fighting Parson belongs in the ranks of American heroes. His routing of this Cheyenne camp saved lives, American lives of women and children. Whether it was half a dozen of one hundred until the Cheyenne were subdued 15 years later, each life was truly innocent and worth the sanctioned attack by the Chivington troops.
The people of Denver and the west celebrated what the Chivington column accomplished. It should be celebrated, or every action Americans engaged in from the Beirut Bombing of Marines onward has been the same murder which Colonel Chivington was wrongfully accused of. These were enemy combatants. These were Indian terrorists who some reports state that there was not an American flag or a flag of truce flying.
Too many Americans of the West have been slandered by those liberals of the east. These Americans in Colorado were protecting Americans and saved American lives, by routing terrorists in their base of operations.
As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.