Battle Of Wounded Knee Essay Research Paper
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Battle Of Wounded Knee Essay, Research Paper On December 15, 1890 authorities feared that the Sioux’s new Ghost Dance? religion might inspire an uprising. Sitting Bull permitted Grand River people to join the antiwhite Ghost Dance cult and was therefore arrested by troops. In the fracas that followed, he was shot twice in the head. Sitting Bull’ followers were apprehended and brought to the U.S Army Camp at Wounded Knee Creek in southwestern South Dakota. Moving among the tipis, soldiers lifted women’s dresses and touched their private parts, ripping from them essential cooking and sewing utensils. The men sitting in the council heard the angry shrieks of their wives, mothers, and daughters. Several Lakota, offended by the abusive actions of the cavalry, stubbornly waited to have their weapons taken from them. It was a show of honor in front of their elders, for few of them were old enough to have fought in the “Indian Wars” fifteen years before. That night, everyone was tired out by the hard trip. James Asay, a Pine Ridge trader and whiskey runner, brought a ten-gallon keg of whiskey to the Seventh Cavalry officers. Many of the Indian men were kept up all night by the drunken Cavalry where the soldiers kept asking them how old they were. The soldiers were hoping to discover which of the men had been at the Battle of Little Bighorn where Custer was killed. On the bitterly cold morning of December 29, 1890, Alice Ghost Horse, a thirteen- year old Lakota girl rode her horse through the U.S Army camp looking for her father, one of the Indian men who had been rounded up earlier that day. Less than fifty yards away she could see her father sitting on the ground with other disarmed men from Chief Big Foot’s band, surrounded by more than 500 heavily armed soldiers of the Seventh Cavalry. She looked North up the hill where four “guns on wheels” were mounted. Troopers watched silently on each side of the Hotchkiss battery. To one side Alice noticed a familiar figure standing with hands raised above his head, his arms turned upward in prayer. It was the medicine man by the name of Yellow Bird. He stood facing the east, right by the fire pit which was now covered with dirt. He was praying and crying. He was saying to the spotted eagles that he wanted to die instead of his people. He must have sense that something was going to happen. He picked up some dirt from the fire place and threw it up in the air and said, “This is the way I want to go, back to dust.” Seventh Cavalry interpreter Phillip F. Wells, whose knowledge of the Lakota language was poor, later told military investigators that a man named Yellow Bird stood up at Wounded Knee and deliberately incited the Lakota to fight. Colonel Forsyth gave a bizarre order: each soldier was told to aim his unloaded gun at an Indians forehead and to pull the trigger. After Wells translated the demeaning order to the astonished Lakota, they could not comprehend this foolishness. Looking at each other, their faces grew “wild with fear.” Alice then saw two or three sergeants grab a deaf man named Black Coyote who had yet to be disarmed. His friends had been so busy talking that they had left him uniformed. The soldiers tore off his blanket, roughly twirling him around. He raised his rifle above his head to keep it away from them. In the midst of yelling, jerking, and twisting, the struggle ended unexpectedly when the rifle pointed toward the east end discharged in the crisp morning air. Lieutenant James Mann screamed, “Fire! Fire on them!” On command the troops opened fire in an explosive volley, enclosing both attackers and victims in a dark curtain of pungent smoke. That day over three hundred elderly men, women, and children, all disarmed were brutally murdered. After the genocidal procedure occurred, a blizzard hit, and it was on the forth day that search parties were sent out to bury the dead.