Wounded Knee Analysis

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On December 29, 1890, the United States’ Seventh Cavalry surrounded a camp of Sioux Indians at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. According to eyewitness to history, Massacre at Wounded Knee, 1890, the Cavalry’s mission was to arrest the Miniconjou Lakota’s chief, Big Foot, and disarm his warriors, because of their involvement in the Ghost Dance Movement. The conflict quickly arose, as a result of the tension that had been building up between the two sides for the past few months. During a search for weapons among the Sioux people, one shot was fired, which quickly lead to a violent outburst between the U.S. Army and the Sioux. The battle, which was typically one-sided due to the dominance of the Seventh Cavalry, resulted in …show more content…
In eyewitness to history, Massacre at Wounded Knee,1890, Philip Wells -an interpreter for the army- recalls what happened during the Wounded Knee Massacre. Wells says that he witnessed the conversation General Forsyth and Sioux chief, Big Foot, were having just before the massacre occurred. Forsyth had ordered the Indians to surrender their arms, but Big Foot insisted that they had none. This account is also supported by Robert Bateman’s article Wounded Knee when Forsyth ordered the Sioux to give up their weapons they only handed over two broken carbines. This made Forsyth feel betrayed because he knew that the Natives were hiding more weapons. He then sent out an order for all Indians to be searched for weapons. It was at this point where everything went downhill. Bateman suggests, according to Philip Wells, once the soldiers began their search a small group young Sioux warriors threw off their blankets and began firing at the soldiers. The soldiers then, in an act of defense, started firing back into the Indians, and thus the Massacre went under

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