The Cost of the Sand Creek Massacre
On the 29thof November year 1864, the Third Cavalry of Colorado initiated an attack against Cheyenne and Arapaho at Sand Creek. This attack triggered horrific outcomes. Commonly referred to as Sand Creek Massacre, the battle that ensued triggered the death of many Native Americans. Of great significance was the murder and physical mutilation of women, the elderly, and the children (Rensik 9). While being interviewed by a joint committee regarding the conduct of the event, John Smith maintained that both the women and the children were killed indiscriminately.
He further reiterated that there were acts of atrocity and barbarityadvanced there and which came under his observation (Bruun& Crosby). The results of this massacre caused ahuge public outcry and a major debate, which is still a puzzle to date (Rensik 9). As is to be anticipated, the injustice that followed the event was never disregarded by the contemporaries or the subsequent scholars and historians.
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It must however be noted that the authors have marginalized the sophisticated events, which resulted and assist in defining the killings by seekingeither to apportion the blame on Governor John Evans and Colonel John Chivington for their actions or in other instances or to exonerate them from blame. The events that took place at Sand Creek were part and parcel of legal military functions carried out within the jurisdiction of set out policies and principles(Peterson 45).
The impacts of the massacre went beyond the boundaries and the politics of Colorado. It was established that at the Sand Creek, the life of the Indian businessman in Colorado had come to a halt and the authority of the Cheyennes and the Arapahoes was terminated. However, of great significance is the fact that the event, probably as opposed to other Indian battles, provided a platform for years of battle after the Civil War (Hoig 7).
In relation to the Indian policy, evident failures by President Abraham Lincoln, John Evans, and Samuel Ryan Curtis to oversee effective implementation of policy regarding the Indians triggered a blame game, which became the first open cause of the battle turning into a massacre (Peterson 45). The other open cause was attributed to the fact that commanders on the lower level, with the inclusion of Edward Wynkoop and Silas Soule, functioned outside their jurisdiction that goes against the orders from the top leadership, which ultimately causing a significant amount of dissent.
The emerging contradictions created an environment of dissent, which transformed the conflict’s image for a long time. Even though it was originally acknowledged as a successful operation by the military against the Indians residing in the Great Plains, in a couple of weeks, an opposing group started to question the credibility of the actions undertaken by the 1st and the 3rdColorado Cavalry (Peterson 45). The other aspect to the negative reflection of events following the massacre was attributed to the fact that most of the soldiers were hundred days volunteers.
The main composition of the volunteers that was defined as a team of hooligans and ne’erdo-wells carried an inescapable stigma. In the initial objective evaluation of the events that were originally published two decades later, it was submitted that Colonel Chivington never apportioned blame on the high ranking officers as he could have done (Peterson 46). In addition, he never complained of being misinformed by the inferior officers. Furthermore, within a fortnight of the Sand Creek Massacre, the news headlines on the event would begin to assume a more defensive position later.
The headlines on the Rocky Mountain Daily News on the 4th of January the year 1865 started the defensive submission in support of the attack spear headed by Colonel Chivington together with his troops. The speed of the propaganda playing a significant role in the creation of public opinion in regard to the Sand Creek blossomed into a divisive scenario that has been established to have endurance similar to the events. What cannot be disregarded is the significant militaristic degree of planning placed in the deliberate Sand Creek attack (Peterson 46).
From the offensive military operations’ perspective, the outcomes came as expected with the objective of the commander to have total capitulation attained. Proof supports the notion that Chivington was working under the direct order of Major General Curtis during his fight operation. A well renowned fight leader before the 29th of November the year 1864, the resolute way in which Chivington synchronized his initiatives on the war front resulted in a major triumph. To this point, two key issues must be clarified on this evaluation.
One is the subject of the alleged atrocities and killings by the troops against the Indians at Sand Creek. Even a hint on such an act cannot be deemed by characteristics of a warfare that is civilized (Peterson 46). In this regard, the Sand Creek Battle is not different. The alleged killings have otherwise soiled the military operations that were considered successful. Astonishingly, it has been established that the people who were able to bring these acts to a halt were the same commanders who presented the dissent for the alleged acts. Second is the context in which the word attack is used (Peterson 46).
The word attack carried negative presentation for a large group of people, but from a military perspective, the doctrinal description submits that it is a more proper position compared to defense. An attack terminates or overcomes the enemy forces, captures and secures the land or both. In addition, attacks demand maneuver, which is bolstered by direct fires and in other instances, indirect fires. Moreover, they could either be resolute or determining operations. Yet attacks could be deliberate or rapid based on the time that is set for planning.
The warlords execute rapid attacks in the event the circumstance calls for fast action using the available troops and limited planning (Peterson 46). They are able to carry out deliberate attacks whenever they are accorded more time to lay down their strategies. Success in this regard is dependent on tactfully massing the impacts of each and every aspect of fighting power. As hard as it might be to understand, what is alleged to have taken place at Sand Creek could not be the first or the last or even the most heinous attack against the Indians.
Perhaps the most significant of all the atrocities, the 1830s Trail of Tears, which compelled the tribes of India to move west, is a case in point of the large-scale principle and policy directly geared towards the Indian populations, which primarily surpass that of any perceived actions at Sand Creek (Peterson 47). And may be the biggest incident following the Sand Creek was the extermination of 300 Lakota Sioux during the Wounded Knee Massacre in the year 1890. Taking this into consideration, a battle front having non-combatants establishes a multi-dimensional hurdle that troops have tackled since the start of the ar. Even the most outstanding objectives when the non-combatants are integrated amongst the fighters, they are always trapped in the cross fire and at times wounded or killed (Peterson 48). To this effect, that the Indians participated at Sand Creek is sufficient proof to portray that there was an occurrence of a battle. An evaluation of the casualties, mostly the Union soldiers, who were wounded and murdered in the course of the battle portrays that their injuries matched those of the weapons used by Indians.
From the above, the controversy around the Sand Creek Massacre cannot be disregarded. It has been a point of debate in relation to the objectives and the real events, charged politically and accompanied with ethnocentric connotations (Monnett 547). In addition, there is a debate on whether it was indeed a massacre or just a fight that entailed the culpability of the Indians. The site of the location has also been debated with the inclusion of arguments founded on ancient traditional Indian norms of where the events took place and even submitted supernatural haunting.
Presently, a region of private land situated to the northern side of the present Sand Creek position, established years back, has presented artifacts of different period and numerous artifacts (Monnett 547). The items were brought together by Chuck Bowen and Sheri Bowen. However, neither Chuck nor Sheri has archeological knowledge. Presently, the two have a website that advertises private tours to the property while most of the observers are of the view that the real location of Cheyenne village sat on the property of Bowen.
The authors predict that proof clearly shows that Bowen’s location, though a region that was subjected to military operation in the year 1864 is possibly the location of sand pits where the warriors who were running from the village erected a defensive pillar (Monnett 547). In addition, the property could be the location of the Arapaho village, which was located on the northern part of the Black Kettle’s camp. The controversy as a matter of fact will go on provided that the people always remember the events at Sand Creek.
In conclusion, the Sand Creek Massacre came as a result of the Battle of Sand Creek. The legality of the operations was diminished by the allegations on the basis of an open betrayal by the leadership. The scapegoating by the superiors coupled with the dissent of the subordinates was authorized by commissions that drew conclusions on the basis of available information. The fame of the Battle of Sand Creek still stands as an open assault in America’s history of the progressivism. The clash of two major civilizations established a lineage of martyrs representing two factions of the struggle.