On November 29, 1864, Colonel John M. Chivington led approximately 700 U.S. volunteer soldiers to a village of about 500 Cheyenne and Arapaho people camped along the banks of Big Sandy Creek in southeastern Colorado. Although the Cheyenne and Arapaho, under Chiefs Black Kettle and Left Hand, believed they were under the protection of the U.S. Army, Chivington's troops attacked and killed about 150 people, mainly women, children, and the elderly.
Sand Creek gave rise to a new generation of federal Indian policies, new treaties at the Little Arkansas and Medicine Lodge ' and the next generation of fighters and fights: Beecher Island, Washita, Summit Springs, Palo Duro Canyon, Sappa Creek, and the Little Big Horn. Sand Creek is among our nation's most profound historic places. The event remains a powerful, and to some, sacred symbol of sacrifice and struggle.