Hat Tip: The Tactical Hermit
from Indian Country Today of Dec. 30, 2016
by Patti Jo King
In 1889, the pronouncements of Paiute mystic Wovoka sparked hope of the dawning of a new age among Western tribes; an age that promised an end to Euro-American oppression and a return to tribal autonomy, abundance and spiritual renewal. According to Wovoka, deliverance required participation in a regime of ritual dance and prayer. As word of his Ghost Dance Revival spread, a Lakota delegation visited him, and then carried the Ghost Dance back to their respective reservations.
On the morning of December 29, 1890, Chief Spotted Elk (Big Foot), leader of a band of some 350 Minneconjou Sioux, sat in a makeshift camp along the banks of Wounded Knee Creek. The band was surrounded by U.S. troops sent to arrest him and disarm his followers. The atmosphere was tense, since an order to arrest Chief Sitting Bull at the Standing Rock Reservation just 14 days earlier had resulted in his murder, prompting Big Foot to lead his people to the Pine Ridge Agency for safe haven. Alerted to the band’s Ghost Dance activities, General Nelson Miles commanded Major Samuel Whiteside and the Seventh Cavalry to apprehend Big Foot and his followers, and the regiment intercepted them on December 28, leading them to the edge of the creek. While confiscating their weapons, a shot pierced the brisk morning air. Within seconds the charged atmosphere erupted as the Indian men rushed to retrieve their confiscated rifles and troopers began to fire volley after volley into the Sioux camp. From a hill above, a Hotchkiss machine gun raked the tipis, gun smoke filled the air, and men, women, and children ran for a ravine near the camp, only to be cut down in crossfire. More than 200 Lakota lay dead or dying in the aftermath as well as at least 20 soldiers.