December 14, 1864
Two days after you left here with
the 3rd Reg't. With a Battalion of the 1st arrived here, having moved so
secretly that we were not aware of their approach of until they Pickets around
the Post, allowing no one to pass out! They arrested Capt. Bent and John Vogle
and placed guards around their houses. They then declared their intention to
massacre the friendly Indians camped on Sand Creek. Major Anthony gave all
information, an eagerly joined in with Chivington and Co. and ordered Lieut.
Cramer with his whole Co. to join the command. As soon as I knew of their
movement I was indignant as you would have been were you here and went to
Cannon's room, where a number of officers of the 1st and 3rd were congregated
and told them that any man who would take part in the murders, knowing the
circumstances as we did, was a low lived cowardly son of a bitch. Capt. Y. J.
Johnson and Lt. Harding went to camp and reported to Chiv. Downing and the whole
outfit what I had said, and you can bet hell was to pay in camp.
all hands swore they would hang me before they moved camp, but I stuck it out,
and all the officers at the Post, except Anthony backed me. I was then ordered
with my whole comany to Major A- with 20 days rations. I told him I would not
take part in their intended murder, but if they were going after the Sioux,
Kiowas or any fighting Indians, I would go as far as any of them.
arrived at Black Kettle's and Left Hand's camp at daylight. Lieut. Wilson with
Co.s "C", "E" & "G" were ordered to in advance to cut off their herd. He
made a circle to the rear and formed a line 200 yds. From the village, and
opened fire. Poor Old John Smith and Louderbeck ran out with white flags but
they paid no attention to them, and they ran back to their tents. I refused to
fire and swore that none but a coward would, for by this time hundreds of women
and children were coming toward us and getting on their knees for mercy. Anthony
shouted, "kill the sons of bitches" Smith and Louderbeck came to our command
although I am confident there were 200 shots fired at them, for I heard an
officer say that Old Smith and any one who sympathized with the Indians, ought
to be killed and now was a good time to do it.
When the Indians found
there was no hope for them they went for the Creek and got under the banks and
some of the bucks got their bows and a few rifles and defended themselves as
well as they could.The massacre lasted six or eight hours, and a good many
Indians escaped. I tell you Ned it was hard to see little children on their
knees have their brains beat out by men professing to be civilized. One squaw
was wounded and a fellow took a hatchet to finish her, and he cut one arm off,
and held the other with one hand and dashed the hatchet through her brain. One
squaw with her two children, were on their knees, begging for their lives of a
dozen soldiers, within ten feet of them all firing - when one succeeded in
hitting the squaw in the thigh, when she took a knife and cut the throats of
both children and then killed herself. One Old Squaw hung herself in the lodge -
there was not enough room for her to hang and she held up her knees and choked
herself to death. Some tried to escape on the Prairie, but most of them were run
down by horsemen. I saw two Indians hold one of anothers hands, chased until
they were exhausted, when they kneeled down, and clasped each other around the
neck and both were shot together. They were all scalped, and as high as half a
dozen taken from one head. They were all horribly mutilated. You would think it
impossible for white men to butcher and mutilate human beings as they
The Rest of the letter is pretty much the same as
the one by Joe Cramer.
web Page Sept., 1997
This information compiled, prepared and submitted to this site by Ethel Taylorand remains the property of the
NOTICE: Ethel Taylor grants that this
information and data may be used by non-commercial entities, as long as this
message remains on all copied material, for personal and genealogical research.
These electronic pages cannot be reproduced in any format for profit, can not be
copied over to other sites, linked to, or other presentation without written
permission of Ethel Taylor.