John Chivington: A preacher gone mad

Excerpts from my book, Forgotten Heroes and Villains of Sand Creek (June 11, 2010).

Woodsman, itinerant preacher, abolitionist, and commander, John Milton Chivington’s story is a tale of enormous ego and ambition, of a thirst for glory, of secret schemes to destroy his rivals. In his less than three years as Colorado’s military commander, Colonel Chivington’s political maneuvering created sworn enemies of all his peers, including Lt. Col. Sam Tappan, Colonel John Slough, and Colonel Jesse Leavenworth. For a time, he enjoyed extreme loyalty from some of his junior officers, including Major Wynkoop and Captain Soule, but that ended bitterly with his actions at Sand Creek.

Later, he came under suspicion for the assassination of Silas Soule and James Cannon.

John Chivington


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