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.
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Her first week on the job, and Marshal Beth Mayo is hit with a sex assault case. It’s a nasty shock for the bucolic mountain town of Sugarloaf and for Mayo, who is still recovering from her husband’s death. Her initial skepticism grows into disbelief over the victim’s zany story, and she dismisses the case as a false report. Unfortunately, the same woman is soon discovered in the ruins of a ghost town, most definitely murdered.
Mayo unravels the complex case through a parade of colorful suspects and misfit family members, all the while following a common thread from 150 years earlier — Colorado history’s most notorious event, the Sand Creek Massacre.