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A topic like this is not likely to garner much interest from those that believe in American exceptionalism, apple pie and all that feel good stuff about how Americans are making the world safe for democracy. So for those that passed over the link above, here's an extract from Blackhawk's article:"On Nov. 29, 1864, as Union armies fought through Virginia and Georgia, Col. John Chivington led some 700 cavalry troops in an unprovoked attack on peaceful Cheyenne and Arapaho villagers at Sand Creek in Colorado. They murdered nearly 200 women, children and older men.
"In terms of sheer horror, few events matched Sand Creek. Pregnant women were murdered and scalped, genitalia were paraded as trophies, and scores of wanton acts of violence characterize the accounts of the few Army officers who dared to report them."
As Blackhawk points out, the Sand Creek Massacre and other atrocities at the time could be labeled today as "ethnic cleansing: an attempted eradication and dispossession of an entire indigenous population." The roots of the violence were the "lust for power by civilian and military leaders desperate to obtain glory and wartime recognition." And indeed the perpetrators of these acts now have cities, mountains and forts named after them...much like Christopher Columbus is heralded with an American holiday despite his documented acts against the indigenous people at an earlier time.
As our military embarks on incursions around the world, I wonder how many indigenous stories will eventually emerge in the historical narrative that will sound a lot like Sand Creek. As a Colorado resident, I made this post for those that live in an alternative world that romanticizes Custer's heroic last stand at the battle at the Little Bighorn in Montana or Davy Crockett and his heroic fight at the Alamo to save Texas. Events like Sand Creek or the Long Walk somehow get lost in that version of our history.