“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Chivington in Kiowa County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)

Conscious and Courage

Conscious and Courage Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Connor Olson, August 30, 2021
1. Conscious and Courage Marker
Inscription.  Captain Silas S. Soule and Lieutenant Joseph A. Cramer of the 1st Colorado (U.S.) Volunteer Cavalry put their military careers - and lives - at risk by refusing to fire during the attack against a peaceful Cheyenne and Arapaho village at Sand Creek, November 29, 1864.

With their companies backing them up, they purposely took little or no part in the massacre of people they knew. Afterward, both men wrote letters to their former commander Major Edward "Ned" Wynkoop, describing the horrors they had witnessed and condemning the leadership of Colonel John M. Chivington, the expedition's commander. These letters led to investigations by two congressional committees and an army commission which changed history's judgement of Sand Creek from a battle to a massacre of men, women, and children.

Several weeks after Soule testified before the commission, he was shot in the streets of Denver. His murderers, although known, were never brought to justice.

These graphic and disturbing letters disappeared, only to resurface in 2000 in time to help convince the U.S. congress to pass legislation establishing the Sand
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Creek Massacre National Historic Site.

The power of these letters, then and now, lies in their simple honesty, their moral courage and the determination of two soldiers who wanted to see justice done.

Captions: Captain Silas Soule, circa 1864
Major Edward “Ned” Wynkoop recipient of the Soule and Cramer letters.

Erected by National Park Service.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Wars, US Indian. A significant historical date for this entry is November 29, 1864.
Location. 38° 32.684′ N, 102° 30.26′ W. Marker is near Chivington, Colorado, in Kiowa County. Marker can be reached from County Highway W west of County Highway 56. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 55411 County Road W, Eads CO 81036, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Welcome to the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site (a few steps from this marker); The Sand Creek Massacre (a few steps from this marker); Why A 33 Star Flag (within shouting distance of this marker); Humans and the Prairie (within shouting distance of this marker); Sand Creek as Camp Site (approx. ¼ mile away); Fort Lyon Reservation (approx. ¼ mile away); Returned to Sand Creek (approx. half a mile away); Sacred Memory (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chivington.
Conscious and Courage Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Connor Olson, August 30, 2021
2. Conscious and Courage Marker
Credits. This page was last revised on September 2, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 1, 2021, by Connor Olson of Kewaskum, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 135 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 2, 2021, by Connor Olson of Kewaskum, Wisconsin. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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Nov. 30, 2023