Sand Creek at 150

Sand Creek today

Big Sandy Creek today – photo Joanna B. Pinneo

Although I’m about three weeks late, I would be remiss if I did not take the time to mark an important anniversary in Great Plains history.  It has been 150 years since the Sand Creek Massacre in what is now southeast Colorado.  On November 29, 1864, an encampment of mostly Arapaho and Cheyenne women and children were mercilessly gunned down by U.S. Cavalry forces under the command of Colonel John Chivington.

Many atrocities occurred there that went well beyond the act of killing.  The violence of the attack seemed to suggest a campaign of extermination rather than a battle fought between adversaries.

Today, the site is a National Historic Site administered by the National Park Service.

However, this is not the Grand Canyon or Yosemite, nor should it be.

There are not hordes of camera toting tourists taking selfies to post and boast on Facebook, nor should there be.

What you will find there is space, wind, and time to reflect on history, human nature, and the consequences of what happened there, and that is as it should be.

About greatplainstrail

Building the Great Plains Trail.
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5 Responses to Sand Creek at 150

  1. Well said, and I couldn’t agree with you more. Here in Japan there are thousands of years of history, some of which I have the opportunity to see-experience while out on my bike or on foot. When I happen-upon a site I take the time to reflect – then and now – and appreciate what we have here.

  2. Ted says:

    Thanks for this excellent post. The National Historic Site will go on my list of places in southeastern Colorado to visit someday, along with the Comanche National Grasslands and some of Southern Plains Land Trust’s properties. The Wikipedia links in your post are fun to read also. Thanks, again.

  3. Pingback: Wounded Knee – at 124 | The Great Plains Trail

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