Sand Creek, 1864
American Flag, Native Blood
Colonel Chivington orders Robert Bent, twenty-four-year-old guide and interpreter from Fort Lyon to accompany his soldiers. Bent gives his version of the events at Sand Creek:
The command consisted of from nine hundred to one thousand men… We left Fort Lyon… and came on to the Indian camp at daylight the next morning. Colonel Chivington surrounded the village with his troops. When we came in sight of the camp I saw the American flag waving and heard Black Kettle tell the Indians to stand around the fag, and there they were huddled—men, women and children…[I] also saw a white flag raised. These flags were in so conspicuous a position that they must have been seen. When the troops fired, the Indians ran…I think there were six hundred Indians in all… thirty-five braves and some old men, about sixty in all. All fought well… I saw five squaws under a bank for shelter. When the troops came up to them they ran out and showed their person to let the soldiers know that they were squaws and begged for mercy, but the soldiers shot them all. There seemed to be indiscriminate slaughter of men, women, and children. There were some thirty or forty squaws collected in a hole for protection; they sent out a little girl about six years old with a white flag on a stick; she had not proceeded but a few steps when she was shot and killed. All the squaws in that hole were afterwards killed.
Every one I saw dead was scalped. I saw one squaw cut open with an unborn child lying by her side. I saw the body of White Antelope with the privates cut off, and I heard a soldier say he was going to make a tobacco pouch out of them… I saw a little girl about five years of age who had been hid in the sand; two soldiers discovered her, drew their pistols and shot her, and then pulled her out of the sand by the arm. I saw quite a number of infants in arms killed with their mothers.
Chronicles of American Indian Protest, 206-208