managed to kill 30 soldiers, but most had been disarmed; the actual battle lasted less than one houra. an estimated 200-350 Indians lay dead when it was overb. fleeing Indians--mostly women and kids--were found up to two miles from the sitec.almost immediately, a blizzard arose and swept over the Plains, making rescue efforts impossible d. and many children were later found dead next to their mothers--had been left out in blizzard for up to three dayse. three children were the only survivors: two little girls and one small boyGhost Dance and Wounded Knee Page 6
f. the little boy described his experiences this way:"My father ran and fell down and blood came out of his mouth and then a soldier put a gun to my white pony's mouth and shot him. And then I ran, and a policeman got me."Here is a link to a gallery of pictures of the massacre from the University of Illinois Indian Literature Program:4. MEANWHILE: Gen Miles and the 7th cavalry had dislodged the Stronghold Indians and was in the process of herding them back towards Pine Ridgea. on the way back, they were met by their kinsmen who had fled Pine Ridge to come to their aidb. the two groups then turned on the army, and there was a battle c. the army called for reinforcements, got a company of Black soldiers, the Buffalo Soldiersd. the Sioux fled to a nearby Indian village and surrenderedD. Analysis:1. The Ghost Dance was part of an on-going tradition of religious responses to hardshipsa. while whites viewed it as crazy, it was completely rational by Indian standardsb. it was not a desperate, last-ditch, gasp of dying culture—as the newspapers reported at the time (and many historians argued for many years)c. the Sioux believed that whites were responsible for the disappearance of buffalo--that the animals had gone back into the earth when whites came thus it was rational to also believe that the buffalo would return if whites left Ghost Dance and Wounded Knee Page 7
d. the Sioux viewed their problems as essentially religious in nature, and thought that they needed religious solutionsthus, the need for a sacred dance to restore the world to the way it had been2. Whites, on the other hand, saw this as the frenzied, last gasp of a doomed peoplea. they did not appreciate the religious dimensions of the Danceb. rather, they saw it as primarily political--a mask for a military rebellionc. they ignored the message of peace in the doctrine and responded as if the Sioux were fixing to make war on them3. It was this fundamental misunderstanding—these two diametrically opposed worldviews—that, combined with the tensions between the Sioux and reservation officials, led to this horrific massacreGhost Dance and Wounded Knee Page 8
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- Spring '08
- Sioux, Sitting Bull, Wounded Knee Massacre, Wounded Knee, Ghost Dance