The Sand Creek Massacre is one of the most investigated military engagements of the Civil War, and scholars have focused on two men, Colonel John M. Chivington and Colorado territorial governor John Evans. This essay argues that there is a third person who must bear responsibility for the carnage that led to the deaths of over 230 peace-seeking Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians. Colonel George Laird Shoup commanded the largest phalanx of soldiers that day—the men most to blame for the ensuing atrocities. This essay explores Shoup’s involvement and guilt but also examines how he escaped censure in the aftermath and ultimately amassed enough political power to afford himself a place of honor in the National Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol. Recontextualizing Shoup’s life offers new conclusions about Sand Creek and brings into question the ways in which we memorialize the past.


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pp. 179-209
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