The Native Americans were pushed to smaller and smaller reservations and during the Civil War the Indians began pushing back. The series of small uprising began to concern some of those in charge. Then in 1864, John Evans, governor of the territory of Colorado, attempted to isolate Native Americans by inviting "friendly Indians" to camp near military forts and receive provisions and protection. He also called for volunteers to fill the military void left when most of the regular army troops in Colorado were sent to other areas during the Civil War.
In August 1864, CGhoshief Black Kettle moved his band to Fort Lyon, Colorado, where the commanding officer encouraged him to hunt near Sand Creek. While the tribe believed that they were dealing with men of honor, the Army began to move troops to the plains, and on November 29, they attacked the unsuspecting Native Americans, scattering men, women, and children and hunting them down. The casualties reflect the one-sided nature of the fight. Nine of Chivington's men were killed; 148 of Black Kettle's followers were slaughtered, more than half of them women and children. The Colorado volunteers returned and killed the wounded, mutilated the bodies, and set fire to the village.
From this outrage, sprang the story of the Ghost Camp. Shortly after the massacre, some hunters were staying in Sand Creek. They awoke the next morning to see a Cheyenne camp a short distance away. The hunters reported seeing dozens of Indians standing around their teepees. Since that time hundreds of people have reported seeing this "ghost camp". People have also heard chanting, screams, singing, gun shots, dogs barking and children playing. Others have felt feelings of sadness, cold spots, fear and anger.