Massacre At Wounded Knee Massacre

Superior Essays
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…
The United States army had the same views about Native Americans as the U.S. government did. The U.S army did not see Sioux as equals to U.S. citizens; in fact, they saw them as wards of the government. They also did not acknowledge the Sioux as their own nation. In contrary to this, the Sioux had their own views about themselves. The Sioux did believe that they were their own nation and that they were entitled to their own beliefs and systems. They did not trust the U.S. army because they did not trust the American people. They felt that there were too many times where they had been betrayed by the Americans. There is truth in this matter, according to the Chronology of Events Leading Up to the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre, on March 2,1889, Congress agreed to use fraud and coercion to acquire the signatures of adult male Indians, in order to pass an Act that would divide the Sioux reservation into six smaller reservations. The Americans, going back on their word, then cut the Sioux reservation subsistence rations in half. In addition to the issues that led up to the event, there are also the thoughts and feelings of the two sides that played a major part in the outcome of this …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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