The Massacre at Sand Creek: Narrative Voices

Bruce Cutler, Author
Bruce Cutler, Author University of Oklahoma Press $19.95 (252p) ISBN 978-0-8061-2730-9
Paperback - 252 pages - 978-0-8061-2990-7
Hardcover - 978-0-944439-04-3
Hardcover - 233 pages - 978-0-585-16865-4
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In this searing novel, Cutler (The Dark Fire) brings to life an oft-told tale--and a tragic episode in American history. On Nov. 29, 1864, Colorado volunteers under Col. John Chivington, a former Methodist minister who claimed to be part Indian himself, attacked the peaceful Cheyenne village of Chief Black Kettle on Sand Creek. This incident, in which hundreds of Indian men, women and children were killed and mutilated, shocked a nation in the midst of its Civil War and led to Congressional inquiries. Cutler tells of the massacre and its aftermath from multiple perspectives, employing such diverse forms as correspondence, newspaper interviews and obituaries. Both white and Indian accounts are presented, with the latter arranged in poetic format to capture the differences between English and the Cheyenne language. Prominent in the account are the letters of Capt. Silas Soule, who commanded a company of cavalry that considered the engagement ``murder pure and simple'' and refused to engage in the killing. Soule was later murdered for his perceived betrayal in opposing Chivington, who remained unrepentant to the end--and against whom no action was ever taken. Cutler recounts this grim tale expertly and with passion, weaving from bits of daily life the stuff of myth. (May)
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