Synopses & Reviews
In the early morning of November 29, 1864, with the fate of the Union still uncertain, part of the First Colorado and nearly all of the Third Colorado volunteer regiments, commanded by Colonel John Chivington, surprised hundreds of Cheyenne and Arapaho people camped on the banks of Sand Creek in southeastern Colorado Territory. More than 150 Native Americans were slaughtered, the vast majority of them women, children, and the elderly, making it one of the most infamous cases of state-sponsored violence in U.S. history. A Misplaced Massacre
examines the ways in which generations of Americans have struggled to come to terms with the meaning of both the attack and its aftermath, most publicly at the 2007 opening of the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site.
This site opened after a long and remarkably contentious planning process. Native Americans, Colorado ranchers, scholars, Park Service employees, and politicians alternately argued and allied with one another around the question of whether the nation's crimes, as well as its achievements, should be memorialized. Ari Kelman unearths the stories of those who lived through the atrocity, as well as those who grappled with its troubling legacy, to reveal how the intertwined histories of the conquest and colonization of the American West and the U.S. Civil War left enduring national scars.
Combining painstaking research with storytelling worthy of a novel, A Misplaced Massacre probes the intersection of history and memory, laying bare the ways differing groups of Americans come to know a shared past.
Brilliant and beautifully written--a powerful meditation on the long shadows that the past continues to cast into the present. I know of no other book quite like it. Karl Jacoby, author of < i=""> Shadows at Dawn: An Apache Massacre and the Violence of History <>
Kelman has the rare ability to blend the rigor of a scholar with the storytelling talent of the best novelist. Edward T. Linenthal, author of < i=""> Sacred Ground: Americans and Their Battlefields <>
On November 29, 1864, over 150 Native Americans, mostly women, children, and elderly, were slaughtered in one of the most infamous cases of state-sponsored violence in U.S. history. Kelman examines how generations of Americans have struggled with the question of whether the nation's crimes, as well as its achievements, should be memorialized.
2014 Bancroft Prize, Columbia University
2014 Avery O. Craven Award, Organization of American Historians
2014 Tom Watson Brown Book Award, Society for Civil War Historians
2014 Robert M. Utley Award, Western History Association
About the Author
Ari Kelman is McCabe Greer Professor of the American Civil War Era at Pennsylvania State University.
University of California, Davis