Excerpts from my book, Forgotten Heroes and Villains of Sand Creek (June 11, 2010).
On New Years Day 1865, Captain Silas S. Soule (pronounced “Sole”) and his men walked their horses along a bend in Sand Creek, counting Arapaho and Cheyenne bodies. Most of the corpses, or what was left of them, were women and children. They had lain in the winter grass for over a month. By then, the work of the elements, of wolves, coyotes and the hundred or so dogs living in the former camp had disguised the mutilations, but Soule wrote to his mother a few days later that all had been scalped. “I hope the authorities at Washington will investigate the killing of those Indians,” he wrote. “I think they will be apt to hoist some of our high officials. I would not fire on the Indians with my Co and the Col said he would have me cashiered but he is out of the service before me and I think I stand better than he does in regard to his great Indian fight.”
Silas Soule spoke up about the massacre and soon paid with his life.
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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.