Santa Cruz County History - People



Old Soldiers: Santa Cruz County Civil War Veterans
by Robert L. Nelson

PRINDLE, LEANDER (1804-1893)

Colorado State Archives

Headstone of Leander Prindle
Leander Prindle
Evergreen Cemetery

Leander Prindle was born about 1804 in Essex, New York. He moved to Colorado where he worked as a farmer. On August 19,1864 at Boulder Colorado he was enlisted by Captain Nichols into Company D, Third Colorado Cavalry. He was 60 years old. His term of service lasted for 100 days. When he was mustered in he was described as being 6 ft. tall, blue eyes, dark hair, and of fair complexion. He was mustered out December 30, 1864 in Denver by Captain Anderson.

Santa Cruz County Hospital Records

Leander Prindle, an 82 year old carpenter, who was born in the state of New York was admitted to the County Hospital on June 1, 1886 and remained there until December 31, 1891.

Santa Cruz Great Register Records, 1892

Leander Prindle was living at 13 Sycamore St. in Santa Cruz. In 1892 his eyes and hair were both gray and his height was listed as 5'11".

Death Certificate Records

Leander Prindle, according to death certificate information died at a residence on Sycamore of Oct 23, 1893, and the attending physician, Dr. E.P. Vaux attributed it to old age.

A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, Frederick A Dyer

Colorado 3rd Regiment Cavalry (Page 1005). Regiment organized at Denver, Colo., for 100 days' service August 20 to September 21, 1864. Duty at Denver till September 27. Operations against Arapahoe and Cheyenne Indians in the District of Colorado October to December. Company D was located at Valley Station October 10. Engagement with Indians at Sand Creek Colorado November 29. Mustered out at Denver December 31, 1864.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (April 5, 1889)

Died: PRINDLE- In Santa Cruz, April 2, Mrs. S. Prindle, aged 78 years.

Santa Cruz Surf (October 24, 1893)

DIED: PRINDLE - In Santa Cruz, October 23, Leander Prindle, a native of New York aged 89 years; late a member of Co. D, Third Colorado Cavalry.

Shifting Sands

Leander Prindle a native of New York, aged 89 years, died last evening at the residence of this stepdaughter Mrs. G.D. Hunter, 13 Sycamore street. He was a member of the Grand Army.

All old soldiers and sailors of the Rebellion and Mexican War are requested to meet at Wallace Post room TODAY (Wednesday) at 9:30 A.M., to attend the funeral.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (October 28, 1893)

Sentinel Jottings

Leander Prindle, an old soldier aged 89 years, died Tuesday at the residence of Mrs. G.D. Hunter, Sycamore St. His funeral will take place at 9:30 AM today under the auspices of the G.A.R. An old hero fallen by the wayside.

Editorial Notes from Robert L. Nelson

There are multiple accounts of the events that occurred between the troops and the Cheyenne at Sand Creek in Colorado.

Story of the Great American West, Readers Digest Editors

Horror at Sand Creek

There appeared to be one slim chance for avoiding an all out Indian war in Colorado. In late September of 1864 a prominent Cheyenne chief named Black Kettle appeared in Denver to negotiate for peace with the territorial governor. After conceding his inability to control many of the younger warriors, Black Kettle agreed to settle at Fort Lyon, in eastern Colorado, with those of his Cheyenne and Arapaho followers who still opposed war. The new commander at the fort saying that he was awaiting orders from General Curtis, insisted that Black Kettle camp on Sand Creek, some 40 miles from Fort Lyon. The chief agreed.

At dawn on November 29, 1864 when Black Kettle's band of about 500 including more than 300 women and children were settled beside the stream, a detachment of about 700 of Chivington's volunteers suddenly appeared. With no warning or discussion they raked the settlement with murderous fire. In vain the Indian leader, unable to comprehend what was happening first raised the Stars and Stripes and then a white flag of surrender. Following Chivington's order to "Kill and scalp all, big and little; nits make lice," the troopers slashed through the camp, killing every Indian who moved and then mutilating the bodies, saving some parts as grisly souvenirs of the day's action. Neither resistance nor surrender had any effect. One group of squaws and children were cut down in the midst of appealing for their lives, while a toddler lost amid the carnage was made the object of target practice by the half crazed soldiers. Flight was the only possible hope and indeed a few Indians did get away to spread the word through the grasslands and mountains that peace with the United States was simply not possible. At first Denver and the nation celebrated Sand Creek as a great and noble victory of American arms. Only slowly did the truth come out generating a wave of revulsion against Chivington and his command. "A cowardly and cold-blooded slaughter," said a shocked army judge advocate general. But by when the damage had been done, and the West was being torn by a new and bitter round of Indian wars." (p. 255)

The Historical Background of the Colorado Volunteers During the Civil War Period, Lily Wright Budd

The Battle of Sand Creek

Chivington had accomplished what few Cavalry Officers had ever done. He was able to surprise the camp of Black Kettle and his Cheyenne Warriors probably because the Indians assumed they would not be attacked. About 130 lodges were scattered for about a mile along the northern bank of a dry creek bed at a loop known as the South Bend of the Big Sandy and referred to as Sand Creek. On the opposite side of the creek bed was a herd of five to six hundred ponies. North of the village was another small herd. Chivington ordered Colonel Shoup to send his best mounted battalion to capture the herd on the south. Lt. Wilson was ordered to seize the herd north of the camp. Chivington had decided that without their mounts, the Cheyenne would be much more inclined to talk. They weren't!

When the Indian camp became aware of the attack, they too hurried to recapture their mounts. The larger herd was cut off but Lt. Wilson found himself and his men under attack by the Cheyenne warriors when he had to run in close to Black Kettle's lodge. when the fight started, the troops upon the hill were not willing to wait for their brother-in-arms to be annihilated. Whereupon Chivington ordered a general advance in support of Wilson's troops.

With a restrained fury long held in check, the troops of the Third Colorado Regiment and the troops of the First Colorado Cavalry burst upon the camp of the Cheyenne. Some of the Indians' ponies which had escaped toward the north were mounted by women and children who, under the cover of about a hundred warriors forming a line northwest of the village, fled the charge of the Colorado mounted cavalry.

Anthony's battalion advanced along the south bank of the creek to cover the left flank and Lt. Wilson went to the right flank. The main body of troops formed by the Third Regiment went toward the center of the village. Leaving men assigned to guard the ponies, the troops who had captured the larger pony herd met the Third Regiment and together about 700 men met a fighting force of about 400 to 600 Cheyenne including some of the fierce Dog Soldiers. Having no mounts, the Indians were at a distinct disadvantage. Although better armed than the troops, the Indians were not accustomed to fighting on foot.

Never firing a shot, Colonel Chivington rode among his men giving orders to his troops. The charge of Shoup's force and artillery fire from a place on a ridge within range of the Indians made a break in the Indians' defense line forcing them to retreat slowly up the creek. Other Indians dug pits or trenches in the creek where they took up their defense. Others took cover in the tall grass. Several squaws and children who had stayed to fight beside the warriors were killed. They fought with perseverance until forced to flee in all directions. The fight extended up and down the creek bed for about three miles until late in the day.

Chivington, anxious that his troops not be caught possibly by other Cheyennes who had been warned of the fight, ordered his scattered troops to reassemble in the Indian camp. Chivington then ordered the camp destroyed so as to prevent its use as a base for further operations. the troops had found food, clothing, and equipment which had been taken in attacks on wagon trains and ranches along with an assortment of scalps.

The skirmish went on all during the night with shots being fired by both sides. When the wagon train arrived at noon the next day, they were formed in a square for added protection. As his troops and their mounts were not up to it, Chivington decided not to march against the strong forces of the Cheyenne to the north on Smokey hill where Black Kettle and about 200 of the fleeing Cheyennes were sure to have been given a warning. Instead he decided to follow the remaining band of Arapahoe encamped on the Arkansas below the mouth of Sand Creek. (p. 34)


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