|The Watonga Republican Newspaper, June 24, 1998.
Sand Creek Survivors Moved To Cherry Creek.
By John Sipes.
On November 29, 1864, Col. John Chivington at sunrise attacked a Cheyenne village on Sand Creek in southeast Colorado.
"The Wutapiu clan headed by Black Kettle was the sufferer of most lives lost. The Heviqsnipahis clan headed by Sand Hill had the least loss of lives, mainly because they were camped farther down on Sand Creek.
Yellow Wolfs Hevhaitaniu clan lost about half of their people. Yellow Wolf was killed with his people in this camp.He was 85 years old and he also lost his brother, Big Man.
The Oivimana clan also lost half its people. White Antelope with his clan of Hisometainio lost many people. Chief One Eye (Lone Bear) was killed with many of his band.The Suthai clan lost a few people." (George Bent Letters).
The people ran up Sand Creek to escape and the soldiers fought with them at different points for about 5 miles. This lasted for about 6 hours. Some sources say the pursuit lasted for about 10 miles up Sand Creek by the soldiers.
Major Anthony stated the fight went on for 5 hours up the creek. George Bent stated the soldiers stopped fighting and killing the people at 5:00 in the evening.
"The rifle pits dug by the people were about 2 miles up the creek. The butchery of the people took place during the initial attack when the warriors were pinned down in the rifle pits." (Little Bear, survivor, to George Bent).
The plunder of the camp lasted about two days after the Cheyennes had fled. Chivington then marched down the Arkansas River to attack the Arapahoes, but they had fled their camps and went to the camps of the Kiowas and the Comanches south of the Arkansas River.
Chivington stated he left 400-600 dead Cheyennes at Sand Creek. Ed Guerrier, who was with the Cheyennes for about four weeks afterwards, said there were 148 missing, 60 being men and the rest women and children.
George Bent, 25 years later, stated to Samuel F.Tappan by letter that 137 Cheyennes were killed: 8 were men and the rest were women and children. Ten men who were present at the massacre put the dead at 150-200.
The Cheyennes with the wounded fled to a large Dog Soldier camp located at the Big Timbers (Headwaters of the Smoky Hill River). After a few days they moved to a large Sioux camp on the Solomon River. From here the camp moved to Cherry Creek, a tributary that flows into the South Fork of the Repiblican River.
Here the camps consisted of Spotted Tails and Pawnee Killers Sioux. Some Northern Arapahoe were also camped on Cherry Creek.
The war pipe had been sent out to the Sioux tribes camps before the Cheyenne left Big Timbers encampment. The Dog Soldiers and the Northern Arapahoes also smoked the war pipe. All who smoked the war pipe and the Sand Creek survivors gathered at Cherry Creek formed a village of about 1000 lodges strong.
On January 1, 1865, the chiefs decided to attack Julesburg, Colorado, located on the South Platte River in the extreme northeast corner of Colorado. Around 1000 strong they moved from Cherry Creek to Julesburg, taking along women with extra horses to help carry back the plunder to camp.
Camp Rankin, a small Army post stood just up the Lodge Pole Creek from Julesburg.
It presented no problem to the Indians. On January 7, 1865, the town was attacked and much plunder taken. It took three days to get back to camp on Cherry Creek.
The Cheyennes stayed on Cherry Creek some days and on January 15 they broke camp and moved to White Butte Creek, half way between the South Fork of the Republican and the South Fork of the Platte River.
The Army, under Brigadier Gen. Mitchell, scoured the Platte, Medicine Creek, Red Willow, Blackwood, White Mans Fork, Stinking Water and Ten-Mile Creeks. They camped at Big Timbers and went to White Butte, but the Cheyennes had already left. Mitchell finally went down the Republican never finding the Cheyennes.
Black Kettle left the camps at White Butte with 80 lodges heading south of the Arkansas to join the Southern Arapahoes, kiowas, and Comanches. That same spring they met with the Government officials and the Army and signed a treaty at the Little Arkansas River.
Cherry Creek is where the plains war between the Indians and the whites began. The war lasted 12 years and culminated at the Little Big Horn River in Montana in 1876 with the Custer fight.
On September 8, 1990, Tobe Zweygardt, of St. Francis, Kansas, Cheyenne County (Kansas) historian and metal sclptor, held a dedication ceremony in honor of the Cheyenne survivors of the Sand Creek Massacre. Metal sculptors designed by Tobe and placed at the Cherry Creek site to honor the survivors were also dedicated.
Descendants of those survivors, John Sipes and his family, participated. John Sipes mother, Cleo Wilson Sipes, cried as she looked on the site and remembered the sufferings of her people as passed down through oral history. John spoke at the dedication thanking Tobe and the people of western Kansas for the memorial and honoring those that died and suffered and were wounded at Sand Creek.
|Watonga Republican, March 11, 1909.
Buffalo Woman, wife of White Antelope, died at the age of 71. Was one of two wives with her sister. Sororate marriage.
Brothers are, Yellow Shirt, a policeman, Chief Bushy Head, Yellow Bear, Little Bird, Victor Bushy Head, Stump Horn. Sisters are, Mrs. Red Leaf and Mrs. Bear Louse.
She was the last custodian of the mysteries of the lodge decorations.
Father of White Antelope was White Antelope, killed by Chivington at Sand Creek.
Text Copyright (c) 2004 Sipe/Berthrong Cheyenne Collections.