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Wounded Knee Essay Research Paper Wounded Knee

Wounded Knee Essay, Research Paper Wounded Knee Essay submitted by Julia Hacker Wounded Knee was a terrible event in US history. It showed how the US government

Wounded Knee Essay, Research Paper

Wounded Knee

Essay submitted by Julia Hacker

Wounded Knee was a terrible event in US history. It showed how the US government

didn’t understand the Native Americans and treated them badly and unfairly.

Big Foot was the chief of a subtribe of the Lakota called Miniconjou. He was very old

and had pneumonia. He was taking his tribe to the Pine Ridge Reservation in

south-western South Dakota.

Most of the women and children in Big Foot’s tribe were family members of the warriors

who had died in the Plains wars. The Indians had agreed to live on small reservations

after the US government took away their land. At the Wounded Knee camp, there were

120 men and 230 women and children. At the camp, they were guarded by the US

Seventh Cavalry lead by Major Samuel Whitside. During the year 1890 a new dance

called the Ghost Dance started among the Sioux and other tribes. The Sioux’s Christ

figure, Wovoka, was said to have flown over Sitting Bull and Short Bull and taught them

the dance and the songs. The Ghost Dance legend was that the next spring, when the

grass was high, the Earth would be covered with a new layer of soil, covering all white

men. Wild buffalo and horses would return and there would be swift running water,

sweet grass, and new trees. All Indians who danced the Ghost dance would be floating

in the air when the new soil was being laid down and would be saved. The Ghost Dance

was made illegal after the Wounded Knee massacre though. On December 28, 1890 the

Seventh Cavalry saw Big Foot moving his tribe and Big Foot immediately put up a white

flag. Major Samuel Whitside captured the Indians and took them to an army camp near

the Pine Ridge reservation at Wounded Knee. Whitside took Bigfoot on his wagon

because it was more comfortable and warmer, and Big Foot was sick. Whitside had

orders to take the Indians to a military prison in Omaha the next day, but it never

happened. That night Colonel James W. Forsyth took over. The Cavalry provided the

Indians with tents that night because it was cold and there was a blizzard coming. The

next day, December 29, 1890, the Cavalry gave the Indians hardtack for breakfast.

There was a seize of arms and the soldiers took all the Indian’s guns away. A medicine

man named Yellow Bird told the Indians to resist the soldiers and not give up the guns,

he did a few steps of the Ghost Dance. The Sioux gave up all their guns but two. One

belonged to a deaf Indian named Black Coyote. He said he had just paid a great deal of

money for his new rifle and didn’t want to give it up. The soldiers grabbed it from him

and it discharged in the air, then other soldiers started firing at all the Indians. The

Cavalry had four Hotchkiss guns, which looked kind of like cannons and could shoot two

pounds of explosive shells at a rate of 50 per minute. The Indians tried to run away and

not get shot, they weren’t doing anything wrong and had been cooperating very well,

but the soldiers kept shooting. The Indians tried to run into a ravine and some dropped

dead or others were wounded and fell to the ground and couldn’t get up. Most of the

wounded ones died in that ravine. The results of the short battle were that 25 soldiers

were killed, almost all of them from their own crossfire. 153 Sioux died on the spot, and

more died in the ravine later on. The final death toll for the Indians was about 350,

that’s almost all of them that were there in the first place. All the dead bodies,

including Big Foot, who was shot near the beginning of the battle, were put into a huge

mass grave. There was a holy man named Black Elk from another tribe who saw all the

dead and wounded Indians in the ravine and the field. He was one of the only Native

American witnesses of the massacre. Wounded Knee was one of the worst things

between the US government and any other group of people in the United States ever.

It would be terrible if anything like that ever happened again.

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