Wounded Knee in Oglala Lakota County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Massacre of Wounded Knee
Dec. 29, 1890, Chief Big Foot, with his Minneconjou and Hunkpapa Sioux Band of 108 warriors, 250 women and children were encamped on this Flat, surrounded by the U.S. 7th Cavalry (470 soldiers) commanded by Col. Forsythe.
The "Messiah Craze" possessed many Indians, who left the vicinity of Ind. Agencies to "Ghost Dance" during the summer and fall of 1890. "Unrest" on the Pine Ridge Reservation was partly due to the reduction of beef rations by Congress, and to the "Ghost Dancing" of Chiefs Sitting Bull, Hump, Big Foot, Kicking Bear, and Short Bull. The Sioux were told by Kicking Bear and Short Bull that by wearing "Ghost Shirts" the ghost dancing warriors would become immune to the whiteman's bullets and could openly defy the soldiers and White settlers, and bring back the old days of the big buffalo herds.
On Nov. 15, 1890, Indian Agent Royer (Lakota Wakakpaj) at Pine Ridge called for troops, and by Dec. 1, 1890, several thousand U.S. Regulars were assembled in this area of Dakota Territory.
On Dec. 15, 1890, Chief Sitting Bull was killed by Lt. Bullhead of the Standing Rock Indian Police. Forty of Sitting Bull's braves escaped from Grand River, and joined Chief Big Foot's band on Deep Creek to camp and "Ghost Dance" on the south fork of the Cheyenne River. Chief Big Foot was under
On Dec. 28, 1890, without a struggle, Chief Big Foot surrendered to the U.S. 7th Cavalry (Maj. Whitesides) at the site marked by a sign five miles north of here. The Band was then escorted to Wounded Knee, camping that night under guard.
Reenforcements of the U.S. 7th Cavalry (including one company of Indian Scouts) arrived at Wounded Knee from Pine Ridge Agency the morning of Dec. 29, 1890. Col. Forsythe took command of a force of 470 men. A battery of four Hotchkiss guns was placed on the hill 400 feet west of here, overlooking the Indian encampment. Big Foot's Band was encircled at (OVER)
9:00 p.m. by a line of foot soldiers and cavalry. Chief Big Foot, sick with pneumonia, lay at a warmed tent provided by Col. Forsythe in the center of the camp. A white flag flew there, placed by the Indians. Directly in the rear of the Indian Camp was a dry draw, running east and west.
The Indians were ordered to surrender their arms before proceeding to Pine Ridge. Capt. Wallace, with an Army detail, began searching the teepees for hidden weapons. During this excitement,
Surviving Indians stampeded in wild disorder for the shelter of the draw 200 feet to the south, escaping west and east in the draw, and north down Wounded Knee Creek. Pursuit by the 7th Cavalry resulted in the killing of more men, women and children, causing the battle to be referred to as the "Wounded Knee Massacre". One hour later, 146 Indian, women and children lay dead in the Wounded Knee Creek valley. The bodies of many were scattered along a distance of two miles from the scene of the encounter. Twenty soldiers were killed on the field, and sixteen later died of wounds. Wounded soldiers and Indians alike were taken to Pine Ridge Agency. A blizzard came up.
"Ghost Dancing" ended with this encounter. The Wounded Knee battlefield is the site of the last armed conflict between the Sioux Indians and the United States Army.
Location. 43° 8.991′ N, 102° 20.959′ W. Marker is in Wounded Knee, South Dakota, in Oglala Lakota County. Marker is on an unnamed extension off Big Foot Trail 0.1 miles north of Big Foot Trail and Mouse Creek Road, in the median. Click for map. The marker is on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Marker is in this post office area: Batesland SD 57716, United States of America.
More about this marker. The marker's title has apparently been altered. Initially, it read "'Battle' of Wounded Knee," and it shows signs of extensive vandalism over the years--bullet holes and other damage. Since the 1970s, the marker site has been a stage for American Indian Movement demonstrations and occasionally violent confrontations with federal authorities.
Regarding Massacre of Wounded Knee. Credits on the marker's bottom front read:
Delineator - Irving P. Pond and Herbert H. Clifford
By - Stanley S. Walker, Sup. Highway Engr.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia entry for the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. (Submitted on April 12, 2008, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
2. Wikipedia entry for the Wounded Knee Massacre. (Submitted on April 12, 2008, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
3. Photos by Phil Konstantin, 2003. Includes pictures of the Wounded Knee Cemetery and various markers on the Pine Ridge Agency. (Submitted on April 12, 2008, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
4. The Wounded Knee Museum. (Submitted on April 14, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.)
5. Rescue at Pine Ridge. This book, by Erich Martin Hicks, depicts the gallantry and spirit of the 9th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers during their heroic rescue of the 7th Cavalry on the day after the Wounded Knee Massacre. (Submitted on October 2, 2009, by Erich Martin Hicks of Woodland Hills, California.)
Additional keywords. 9th U.S. Cavalry.
Categories. • Landmarks • Native Americans • Notable Events • Wars, US Indian •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 5,468 times since then and 26 times this year. Last updated on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos: 1. submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on . • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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