Military History Monday: Sand Creek Massacre

One hundred and forty-nine years ago, on November 29, 1864, perhaps the most atrocious and disturbing attacks in United States military history occurred at Sand Creek, an encampment in Colorado Territory of 700-800 Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians.  The attack was led by John Milton Chivington, a particularly fierce and staunch abolitionist who also happened to be an ordained Methodist minister. John Milton Chivington John Milton Chivington was born in Ohio in 1821.  John was five years old when his father died, leaving John and his brothers to run the farm.  Even though he had only been able to attend school sporadically, by the time he married in 1844 he had been running a timber business for several years.  Although not a religious person, he became interested in Methodism and in 1844 he was ordained as a Methodist minister. This article is no longer available at this site.  However, it will be enhanced and published later in a future issue of Digging History Magazine, our new monthly digital publication available by individual purchase or subscription.  To see what the magazine is all about you can preview issues at our YouTube Channel.  Subscriptions are affordable, safe and easy to purchase and the best deal for getting your “history fix” every...

Civil War Before THE Civil War: Bloody Kansas (Part 2)

Soon after the Kansas-Nebraska Act was signed, the Massachusetts (New England) Emigrant Aid Society sent 200 “Free-Staters” (anti-slavery) to counteract the influences of southern states and neighboring Missouri who were strongly pro-slavery.  The Massachusetts group was joined by similar organizations and responsible for the creation of the towns of Lawrence and Manhattan, Kansas.  Lawrence would eventually become the center of the anti-slavery movement. Missouri counties bordering Kansas were strongly in favor of slavery – so strong was the pro-slavery sentiment that Senator David Atchison sent 1,700 men from Missouri to Kansas to vote in the Kansas 1854 election.  These were the so-called “Border Ruffians” who helped (illegally) elect a pro-slavery Kansas territorial delegate to Congress.  Their votes were later ruled invalid, but that didn’t stop them from sending up 5,000 for the next election in 1855 which would elect the Kansas Territorial Legislature. This article was enhanced and published in the April 2018 issue of Digging History Magazine.  The entire issue is about the Civil War — even the book reviews!  Preview the issue here or purchase...

Civil War Before THE Civil War – Manifest Destiny and Compromise (Part I)

President James K. Polk was on a mission to expand the country westward.  The term “divine destiny” had been used by journalist John O’Sullivan in 1839, later evolving into what came to be known as “Manifest Destiny”.  Part of Polk’s plans for westward expansion involved taking possession of a vast amount of land under Mexican control and it would require a two-prong attack. Mexican-American War John Fremont, accompanied by Kit Carson, was sent to the far west to stake a claim to California and Stephen Kearny was dispatched to New Mexico.  In New Mexico, the governor fled Santa Fe (with lots of gold and silver) and Kearny’s troops easily secured Santa Fe without a single death.  From there, Kearny continued westward to California to join up with Fremont. This article was enhanced and published in the April 2018 issue of Digging History Magazine.  The entire issue is about the Civil War — even the book reviews!  Preview the issue here or purchase...

Military History Monday – The Utah War a.k.a. Buchanan’s Blunder

Early Mormon History During the early 19th century, a revival movement called The Second Great Awakening was sweeping the nation.  One particular area in western New York became known as the “Burned Over District”.  The area had been so heavily evangelized and saturated with revival that no fuel (unconverted souls) was left to burn (in other words, convert).  Many religious and socialist experiments (utopian) sprung from that area – the Shakers, Oneida Society, Millerites (later Seventh Day Adventist) and Latter Day Saints (Mormons).  Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, lived in the Burned Over District and was influenced as were many others by the revival. This article is no longer available at this site.  However, it will be enhanced and published later in a future issue of Digging History Magazine, our new monthly digital publication available by individual purchase or subscription.  To see what the magazine is all about you can preview issues at our YouTube Channel.  Subscriptions are affordable, safe and easy to purchase and the best deal for getting your “history fix” every...

Military History Monday – Obscure U.S. Civil Wars – The Walton War

In this border war which occurred in the first decade of the 1800s, ambiguities in border delineation were again the center of controversy.  The strip of land, approximately twelve miles wide, was called the “Orphan Strip”.  That strip of land bordered the three states of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Originally, after the Revolutionary War, there was a dispute between North and South Carolina.  States who previously had claims to land west of the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River were asked to cede those lands back to the federal government.  North Carolina ceded their western land (eventually becoming Tennessee) and South Carolina only needed to cede a small strip of land in order to comply with the federal government’s wishes.  Georgia agreed to cede the land that would later become Alabama and Mississippi, and in return the federal government agreed that Georgia would receive the small strip of land that South Carolina had ceded.  That occurred in 1802, so now Georgia and North Carolina shared a border. This article is no longer available at this site.  However, it will be enhanced and published later in a future issue of Digging History Magazine, our new monthly digital publication available by individual purchase or subscription.  To see what the magazine is all about you can preview issues at our YouTube Channel.  Subscriptions are affordable, safe and easy to purchase and the best deal for getting your “history fix” every...

Obscure U.S. Civil Wars – The Toledo War (1835-1836)

Here is another United States “civil war” or boundary dispute that portended a fierce and future college football rivalry.  This one was between Ohio and Michigan. Ohio became a sovereign state of the United States in 1803.  Michigan, still a territory in 1835, would soon petition for statehood.  As with last week’s “Honey War” between Iowa and Missouri, this conflict had its basis in another misunderstanding of geographic features – this time the Great Lakes. This article is no longer available at this site.  However, it will be enhanced and published later in a future issue of Digging History Magazine, our new monthly digital publication available by individual purchase or subscription.  To see what the magazine is all about you can preview issues at our YouTube Channel.  Subscriptions are affordable, safe and easy to purchase and the best deal for getting your “history fix” every...