The Sand Creek massacre

Då vi køyrde gjennom Wyoming såg vi ein del skilt om Sand Creek Massacre Trail, og lurte litt på kva dette kunne vere for noko. Så då måtte eg jo finne ut av det. Heldigvis har Wikipedia ein omfattande artikkel om temaet, så det var ikkje altfor vanskeleg.

Vi har jo vore på museum og lært om både Oregon trail og mormon trail, men dei har alle vore ruter som vestlege innvandrarar har gått for å finne det lova landet av melk og honning. Dette var noko anna.

Det viser seg at 700 amerikanske soldatar, ein novemberdag i 1864, fann ut at dei skulle gå til angrep på nokre indianarar. Utan å bry seg om at det var vennlegsinna indianarar og hovudsakleg kvinner og barn som var der.

Jis to think of that dog Chivington and his dirty hounds, up thar at Sand Creek. His men shot down squaws, and blew the brains out of little innocent children. You call sich soldiers Christians, do ye? And Indians savages? What der yer ‘spose our Heavenly Father, who made both them and us, thinks of these things? I tell you what, I don’t like a hostile red skin any more than you do. And when they are hostile, I’ve fought ’em, hard as any man. But I never yet drew a bead on a squaw or papoose, and I despise the man who would.
—- Kit Carson

In testimony before a Congressional committee investigating the massacre, Chivington claimed that as many as 500–600 Indian warriors were killed.Historian Alan Brinkley wrote that 133 Indians were killed, 105 of whom were women and children. White eye-witness John S. Smith reported that 70–80 Indians were killed, including 20–30 warriors.

Det er grufullt å lese om kva dei gjorde med ofra og at dei var stolte av det dei hadde gjort. Dette var folkemord, ikkje krig.

Denne hendinga var så ille at dei og reagerte i deira eiga samtid:

Initially, the Sand Creek engagement was reported as a victory against a brave opponent. Within weeks, however, witnesses and survivors raised a controversy about possible massacre. Several investigations were conducted – two by the military, and one by the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War. The panel declared:

As to Colonel Chivington, your committee can hardly find fitting terms to describe his conduct. Wearing the uniform of the United States, which should be the emblem of justice and humanity; holding the important position of commander of a military district, and therefore having the honor of the government to that extent in his keeping, he deliberately planned and executed a foul and dastardly massacre which would have disgraced the verist [sic] savage among those who were the victims of his cruelty. Having full knowledge of their friendly character, having himself been instrumental to some extent in placing them in their position of fancied security, he took advantage of their in-apprehension and defenceless [sic] condition to gratify the worst passions that ever cursed the heart of man.
Whatever influence this may have had upon Colonel Chivington, the truth is that he surprised and murdered, in cold blood, the unsuspecting men, women, and children on Sand creek, who had every reason to believe they were under the protection of the United States authorities, and then returned to Denver and boasted of the brave deed he and the men under his command had performed.

In conclusion, your committee are of the opinion that for the purpose of vindicating the cause of justice and upholding the honor of the nation, prompt and energetic measures should be at once taken to remove from office those who have thus disgraced the government by whom they are employed, and to punish, as their crimes deserve, those who have been guilty of these brutal and cowardly acts.

Og så til trailen som vi tydelegvis har køyrt ein del av:

The Sand Creek Massacre Trail in Wyoming follows the paths of the Northern Arapaho and Cheyenne in the years after the massacre. It traces them to their supposed wintering on the Wind River Indian Reservation near Riverton in central Wyoming, where the Arapaho remain today. The trail passes through Cheyenne, Laramie, Casper, and Riverton en route to Ethete in Fremont County on the reservation. In recent years, Arapaho youth have taken to running the length of the trail as endurance tests to bring healing to their nation. Alexa Roberts, superintendent of the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site, has said that the trail represents a living portion of the history of the two tribes.

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