By Jerry Green
The Wounded Knee bloodbath of December 29, 1890, identified to U.S. army historians because the final conflict in "the Indian Wars," used to be in truth one other tragic occasion in a bigger trend of conquest, destruction, killing, and damaged gives you that proceed to this day.
On a chilly winter's morning greater than a century in the past, the U.S. 7th Cavalry attacked and killed greater than 260 Lakota males, girls, and kids at Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota. within the aftermath, the damaged, twisted our bodies of the Lakota humans have been quickly lined through a blanket of snow, as a snowstorm swept in the course of the geographical region. a couple of days later, veteran military health care professional John Vance Lauderdale arrived for accountability on the within reach Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. stunned by way of what he encountered, he wrote quite a few letters to his closest family detailing the occasions, aftermath, and everyday life at the Reservation below army career. He additionally taken care of the wounded, either Cavalry squaddies and Lakota civilians. What distinguishes After Wounded Knee from the big physique of literature already to be had at the bloodbath is Lauderdale's frank value determinations of army lifestyles and a private commentary of the tragedy, untainted by way of self-serving memory or adorned newspaper and political experiences. His experience of frustration and outrage towards the army command, specifically about the strategies used opposed to the Lakota, is vividly obvious during this intimate view of Lauderdale's existence. His correspondence presents new perception right into a accepted topic and was once written on the top of the cultural fight among the U.S. and Lakota humans. Jerry Green's cautious modifying of this colossal assortment, a part of the toilet Vance Lauderdale Papers within the Western Americana assortment in Yale University's Beinecke Library, clarifies Lauderdale's reports on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Read or Download After Wounded Knee: Correspondence of Major and Surgeon John Vance Lauderdale while Serving with the Army Occupying the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, 1890-1891 PDF
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Additional resources for After Wounded Knee: Correspondence of Major and Surgeon John Vance Lauderdale while Serving with the Army Occupying the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, 1890-1891
The prophecies also called for the resurrection of all the Indians' dead ancestors, the return of the buffalo and other game animals that had been destroyed by the whites, and the reestablishment of the dominance of the Indian people. 37 In the fall of 1889, delegations were sent from several of the Lakota reservations to investigate this messiah firsthand. They returned with the good news that all they had heard was true. 38 The second coming of God to earth would benefit the red man, not the white.
No one can say with certainty which side fired the first shot, and the question may never be satisfactorily answered. At the sound of that first shot, however, the troops opened fire. The number of armed Lakota at that moment is another much-disputed point. Most historians agree at least some of the Lakota men had concealed rifles under their blankets, but the vast majority were unarmed. Colonel Forsyth reported taking forty-eight guns prior to the fight. 86 Captain Charles B. Ewing, a military surgeon at the site, puts the number of armed warriors at forty-two.
J. No. Fork of Elkhorn, Neb. Fri. Jan. m. Dear Joe, The train is waiting 25 min. for dinner. I have been taking a cup of coffee as I had a good breakfast and do not care to take too much food, as my appetite is never very good on the cars. Have been riding thro a fine corn and grass region with small villages here and there. No forests but the lines of poplars that sit in rows to break the wind. A beautiful sun shining day. It does not seem that you should be buried in snow as I left you. 45 Chapter Two: The Letters Wednesday eve There are two young ladies on the sleeper, several gentlemen, and we have discussed the Indian War, we have reached the conclusion that the Ghost Dance has nothing to do with the cause, but that the Indian Bureau from Commissioner Morgan4 down are a bad lot and that the Indians have been starved into making their depredations.