He convinced others to write letters as well, documenting the true horror of the experience. His campaign was successful enough that an inquiry was launched into the massacre at Sand Creek. Chivington cast Soule as a coward and a traitor to white Americans, while Silas described the graphic violence he had witnessed against the defenseless members of the two tribes.
Soule wanted to put the horror of Sand Creek to rest.
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He did not reenlist with the Colorado Cavalry when his contract expired, instead taking a position as provost marshal head of military police in Denver. He married his longtime sweetheart, nineteen-year-old Hersa Coberly daughter of legendary saloon owner Sarah Coberly , on April 1, Just three weeks after her wedding, Hersa found herself a widow.
On the night of April 23, the pair were returning home when a gunshot sounded a few blocks away. Silas sent his wife home, and went to investigate the noise. Waiting for him in a dark alley at what is now 15th and Arapahoe were two assassins. Silas, who had been prepared for an attempt on his life since his testimony against Chivington, shot at one of his assailants at the same time as the other man shot him.
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Soule was killed instantly by a bullet to the head. The assassins, men who had served under Chivington, were captured but escaped before trial — likely aided by others loyal to Chivington. It was believed that Chivington had hired the assassins to murder Soule, but it was never proven. For many years, Silas Soule and his contributions to the memory of the Sand Creek Massacre were forgotten. The next time you find yourself in the Lower Downtown area, take a moment to look at the marker and remember Silas Soule, who was killed on that same spot over one hundred and fifty years ago.
John Evans was not only Territorial Governor, but he was concurrently appointed the Territorial Superintendent of Indian Affairs an unusual arrangement -- generally in the midth century West, different people held those offices.
Though Evans was not In Colorado at the time of the massacre, Soule and others' denunciation of Chivington's war crimes perpetrated on Evans' watch prompted Lincoln to demand and receive Evans' resignation from the two posts. Thanks for sharing this remarkable story. Next time I'm at Riverside Cemetery I'll be sure to lay some flowers at his grave.
Thank you for sharing this story. I have never seen this plaque and can't wait to tell this piece of Colorado history to friends next time I'm downtown. Lexi Buchanan. Deadly Desires. Deeper Illusions. Annie Jocoby. For The Win. Consolation Book One in the Consolation Duet. Corinne Michaels.
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