By Kaden Walksnice
It’s 4:30am November 25th 2015 and I’m awake trying to hustle around before I get on the road to Eads, Colorado at 6:30am because the weather report says we will be driving through a blizzard in northern Wyoming. As I sit here in my room, I’m continuously looking over at a box sitting on the end of my sleeping bag and blanket makeshift bed. The item in the box is the Sand Creek healing Run Eagle Staff, it has a strong energy which has my mind pondering about my ancestors and what strength they had to survive the month of November in 1864 and 1868.
On the morning of November 29th, 1864 my Cheyenne ancestors were massacred by the United States Calvary led by Col. John Chivington while a 33 stared US flag and white flag was placed on a teepee pole above Chief White Antelope’s lodge, it was a Cheyenne Peace Chiefs camp full of elders, women and children. The massacre lasted from dusk till dawn, Calvary men mutilating every Cheyenne they could get their hands on and some Cheyenne’s scalped twice or more, women cut open and their unborn babies taken as a battle token.
“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.”-Soule letter to New Wynkoop.
Peace Chief Black Kettle survived the massacre at Sand Creek but almost 4 years later on November 27th 1868 his band of Cheyenne were again attacked and massacred by the United States Calvary led this time by Col. George Custer, Black Kettles band was about 100 mostly women and children with a hand full of warriors.
So this year for the contemporary holiday of Native American Heritage Month (November) and day (27th), “I remember my ancestors and I give them thanks for giving me life.”
November 29, 1864:
The Sand Creek Massacre
November 27, 1868:
The Washita Massacre
Chief Dull Knifes camp in the Big Horn Mountains was attacked and destroyed by troops of the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th US Cavalry.
“I am naked, it is very cold. i run for my life, soldiers everywhere…. many of my people dead, others run with me.” – Beaver Heart, remembering the attack on Dull Knifes camp.