Letters from Captain Silas S. Soule and Lieutenant Joseph A. Cramer
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 judgment of Sand Creek from a battle to a massacre of men, women, and children. From the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site website.