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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1864

Colorado superintendency,   pp. 216-258 PDF (17.3 MB)

Page 220

communication from some of the chiefs of the Cheyenne tribe, pr6posing peace
on certain terms. Copies of the letter and proposition, marked 0 and P, are
with forwarded. 
As I had learned that Major Wynkoop, who was in command of Fort Lyon, 
had gone on an expedition to the Indian camp, at the "Bunch of Timbers,"
directed Agent Colley to await the result. Upon the major's return to Fort
Lyon from this expedition, lie reported the result of his visit to the Indians,
copy of which, marked R, is forwarded herewith. 
As proposed in his report, the major brought the chiefs and headmen to 
Denver, and I held an interview with them on September 28, in the presence
of Colonel Chivington, commanding the district of Colorado; Colonel Shoup,
of the 3d Colorado cavalry; Major Wynkoop, and a number of other military
officers ; John Smith, the interpreter; Agent Whitely, and a number of citizens.
They were earnest in their desire for peace, and offered to secure the assent
their bands to lay down their arms, or to join the whites in the war against
other tribes of the plains. They stated that the Kiowas, Camanches, Apaches,
and fourteen different bands of the Sioux, including the Yanktonais and other
bands from Minnesota, and all of those of the northern plains, were among
strong forces on the war-path; that the Sioux were very hostile and deter-
mined against the whites. They stated that the chiefs of their bands had
opposed to the war, but they had been overpowered by the influence of their
young men. 
After collecting all the information I could from them as to the parties
had committed the murders and depredations during the spring and summer,
and hearing their propositions for peace, I admonished them of their failure
meet me in council last autumn, and of their neglect to respond to my procla-
mation directing the friendly indians to repair to their agencies; that they
joined the alliance for war, and bad committed the most horrible murders,
destroyed immense amounts of property, for which they offered no atonement
or reparation, and that I had, by that proclamation, turned them over to
military authorities, with whom they must make their terms of peace; that
while their bands were among the hostile Indians with their bows drawn for
the conflict, and their hands red with the blood of their slaughtered victims,
was out of my place to make any terms of peace, as it might embarrass the
military authorities who were in pursuit of their hostile allies. I advised
to make immediate application to the military authorities for, and to accept,
terms of peace they might be able to obtain, and left them in the hands of
Major Wynkoop, who took them back to Fort Lyon. 
I have since learned that about four hundred of their tribes have surrendered
and are now at Fort Lyon. 
The next day after the council I addressed Agent Colley the following letter
of instructions : 
Denver, September 29, 1864. 
SIR: The chiefs brought in by Major Wynkoop have been heard. I have 
declined to make any treaty with them lest it might embarrass the military
operations against the hostile Indians of the plains. The Arapahoe and Chey-
enne Indians being now at war with the United States government, must make
peace with the military authorities. Of course this arrangement relieves
Indian bureau of their care until peace is declared -with them; and as these
tribes are yet scattered, and all except Friday's band are at war, it is
probable that it will be done immediately. You will be particular to impress
upon these chiefs the.fact that my talk with them was for the purpose of
taining their views, and not to offer them anything whatever. They must deal

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