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Mochi's War: The Tragedy of Sand Creek by…

Mochi's War: The Tragedy of Sand Creek

by Chris Enss

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The story begins with the Sand Creek Massacre of November 29, 1864. Colonel John Chivington led Colorado Volunteer troops to attack the sleeping and peaceful village at dawn. In the atrocious event, soldiers murdered Cheyenne and Arapaho men, women, infants and children. They plundered the tipis, scalped and mutilated many bodies, stole the horses. In this researched historical account, the authors detail events leading up to the attack and the ensuing years of Indian Wars that included Sand Creek survivors bent on revenge. Mochi, wife of Medicine Water, was one of the warriors. Excellent book. (lj, Sept 2015) ( )
  eduscapes | Sep 29, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
There is, unfortunately, not much about Mochi in the book Mochi's War: The Tragedy of Sand Creek, and what there is amounts almost entirely to speculation. Instead, the focus of the book is more on the actions and character of John M. Chivington, the militia leader in the infamous attack on the Sand Creek Indian village in Colorado Territory in 1864. The narrative is disjointed and thus the historical time lines are confusing - the authors have stitched together a number of disparate stories, histories and myths and have left all the seams showing. And some of the content leaves one shaking one's head. For example, on page 31 there is a digression, a page and a half in length, when the authors tell an obscure Indian folk tale and then try all manner of descriptive contortions to fit it to the immediately preceding narrative - without success one might add. Woven throughout the book are the stories of atrocities visited on white settlers by the Cheyenne. To what end, one might ask? To fill pages? To preserve this aspect of history? Surely not to justify the massacre at Sand Creek, based on the tenor and point of view of the authors! Yet that is the question the puzzeled reader is left to answer. 'Twould have been better to have made it a history of the Sand Creek Massacre, or the evil doings of Colonel Chivington (which it in fact becomes) rather than attempt to spin a tale of such fine threads as the life of a phantom Indian woman might provide into any kind of substantial web of history. ( )
  BlaueBlume | Sep 9, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Mochi's War: The Tragedy of Sand Creek covered events fairly comprehensively. I had heard of Sand Creek, but not Mochi. I think the book's short length (132 pages) reflects the amount of detail that could reasonably be uncovered about Mochi and the events surrounding her life. Even then, I felt the authors struggled to pad the narrative - telling events out of order, and then retelling that information later. While always very readable, I felt distracted at times by the repetition, and also, checked dates occasionally to get the timeline correct in my mind. Some obvious historical errors (William T. Sherman as Secretary of War?) stood out even to me, and I wondered about the sourcing. I was particularly interested in the chapters (after Sand Creek) about the German sisters, and liked that the authors included many historical photographs and drawings. ( )
  y2pk | Aug 17, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This short history is eloquently and clearly written. The precise language that tells this chapter of American history is matter-of-fact, without biases or hyperbole--the reader's own conscience provides that. ( )
  Jeanomario | Aug 15, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book was an Early Reviewer selection.

There is nothing more tragic in American History than the displacement of the Native American people during the European settlement of the continent. So much of the process was uncivilized and unjustified that is difficult to pick a particular event as standing apart from all the rest. The Sand Creek massacre, however, must surely be included as among the worst of the lot. At a time when both the Plains Tribes and the U. S. Government were coming close to a state of mind that would allow them to approach a way to a lasting peace one, particularly twisted, man made a decision that set the peace process back for years and forever tarnished his and his country's reputation. He led the attack on a Native American village, whose leader was convinced that he had reached accord with U. S. Government representatives, killing and mutilating nearly everyone including the women and children. This book is a short history of this terrible event along with contextual material describing the situation leading up to the massacre along with the aftermath and the some of the consequences. Even handed history is difficult because only the written words of the perpetrators are available to us now but the author's do make an attempt to capture the oral history of the victims as well. I was not aware of the details of this event before I read the book and I am glad to have been given the opportunity. Even if it is uncomfortable, it is important to remember what brought us here. ( )
  pamur | Aug 9, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 076276077X, Paperback)

Colorado Territory in 1864 wasn't merely the wild west, it was a land in limbo while the Civil War raged in the east and politics swirled around its potential admission to the union. The territorial governor, John Evans, had ambitions on the national stage should statehood occur--and he was joined in those ambitions by a local pastor and erstwhile Colonel in the Colorado militia, John Chivington. The decision was made to take a hard line stance against any Native Americans who refused to settle on reservations--and in the fall of 1864, Chivington set his sights on a small band of Cheyenne under the chief Black Eagle, camped and preparing for the winter at Sand Creek.

When the order to fire on the camp came on November 28, one officer refused, other soldiers in Chivington's force, however, immediately attacked the village, disregarding the American flag, and a white flag of surrender that was run up shortly after the soldiers commenced firing.

In the ensuing "battle" fifteen members of the assembled militias were killed and more than 50 wounded Between 150 and 200 of Black Kettle’s Cheyenne were estimated killed, nearly all elderly men, women and children.

As with many incidents in American history, the victors wrote the first version of history--turning the massacre into a heroic feat by the troops. Soon thereafter, however, Congress began an investigation into Chivington's actions and he was roundly condemned. His name still rings with infamy in Colorado and American history. Mochi’s War explores this story and its repercussions into the last part of the nineteenth Century from the perspective of a Cheyenne woman whose determination swept her into some of the most dramatic and heartbreaking moments in the conflicts that grew through the West in the aftermath of Sand Creek.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 01 Jul 2015 15:00:29 -0400)

As with many incidents in American history, the victors wrote the first version of history--turning the tragedy of the Sand Creek Massacre into a heroic feat by the Colorado militia tasked with moving the Cheyenne onto reservations. The truth of those events has made Colonel John Chivington's name infamous in Colorado and American history, and this dramatic and poignant reflection on the events leading to the tragic events of the massacre and the ensuing years of violence offers new perspectives with the hindsight of more than a century and a half of repercussions by telling the story.… (more)

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