The Life And Legacy Of John Milton Chivington

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Throughout their lifetime, a person’s actions not only illustrate their character, but more importantly dictate what sort of legacy they will leave behind. John Milton Chivington’s true legacy is still a debatable controversy because of his contradictory actions during his lifetime. Known to be a powerful minister and war hero, yet simultaneously considered to be the cold-blooded and murderous leader of the Sand Creek Massacre, it is difficult to pinpoint the true disposition of his legacy. Originally one of strength, bravery and persistence, Chivington’s legacy was sadly tainted by the gruesome murder of innocent men, women and children in the Sand Creek Massacre. Although he was a powerful minister and military leader, the weight of his …show more content…

Chivington held strong views against slavery and abhorred the fact that the Confederates were trying to go against his great nation. One of the various revivals taking place around the country that Chivington attended captured his attention, and he realized that he wanted to join ministry in order to have a peaceful part in the fight (Craig, 27). Chivington’s perfectionist attitude followed him into his ministry and he made sure that he knew the reason for everything he said whenever he was behind the pulpit (Craig, 25). Additionally, his huge stature and booming voice ensured that his message was clearly delivered. All of these qualities, along with the pull of the gold rush, led him to Colorado in 1860 where he became the presiding elder of the church there in Denver (Whitford, 51-52). Chivington also took a stand against slavery and even protected a runaway slave from being taken back into captivity (Mendoza, 42). Proclaiming an influential ministry as a leader in the church, defending the freedoms of the nation from the pulpit, and standing against slavery are all some of the great parts of Chivington’s history, but of course that was only the …show more content…

Although his ministry was successful, Chivington felt that he could play a much more active role in the fight for the values he treasured (Whitlock, 64). It was this mindset that led him to join the Army and become the commander of the First Regiment of Colorado Volunteers (Whitford, 52). In the very first battle that Chivington and his men had ever encountered, the Battle of Glorieta Pass, he exhibited unmatched courage and innovative leadership that paved the way to victory. In the second day of the battle, he ordered a charge directly down the pass right into the Confederate forces, catching them off guard and eliminating most of their supplies. This charge struck the final blow to the Confederates and forced them to stop fighting because they could no longer continue due to their lack of men and materials (Whitford,

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