Sunday, December 29, 2013
DECEMBER 29 = Massacre at Wounded Knee
Eyewitness to Wounded Knee
"During this time a medicine man, gaudily dressed and fantastically painted, executed the maneuvers of the ghost dance, raising and throwing dust into the air. He exclaimed 'Ha! Ha!' as he did so, meaning he was about to do something terrible, and said, 'I have lived long enough,' meaning he would fight until he died. Turning to the young warriors who were squatted together, he said 'Do not fear, but let your hearts be strong. Many soldiers are about us and have many bullets, but I am assured their bullets cannot penetrate us. The prairie is large, and their bullets will fly over the prairies and will not come toward us. If they do come toward us, they will float away like dust in the air.' I turned to Major Whitside and said, 'That man is making mischief,' and repeated what he had said. Whitside replied, 'Go direct to Colonel Forsyth and tell him about it,' which I did. "
The "Ghost dance" religion
This was the recollection of Philip Wells, a mixed-blood Sioux Indian who served the U.S. Army as in interpreter of the events on the morning of this date, December 29, in 1890. It was on this date that a massacre of Sioux Indians occurred at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. The "ghost dance" to which Wells refers is a dance to a miraculous vision that an
The Massacre at Wounded Knee
The Sioux added their own facet to this new faith: the wearing of brightly colored shirts which they said would be impervious to the white man's bullets. This sounded ominous to many of the white men who heard it, and this unease boiled over at Wounded Knee. The recent killing of Chief Sitting Bull had frightened some of the Chief's followers to take refuge in the camp of Big Foot, a Miniconjou Sioux Chief. When Big Foot and his followers were encamped at Wounded Knee Creek, they were surrounded by 470 troopers of the U.S. 7'th Cavalry who were armed with Hotchkiss Guns, a light rapid fire field cannon - a kind of precursor to the machine gun. At 8:00 that morning, the Sioux men came out and sat in a semi circle in front of their tipis. Colonel James Forsyth (pictured below), determined to disarm these men, sent
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Time Life the OLD West Books 24 Volume SET (The Old West) By Time Life Books (Leather Bound - 1977) "The Great Chiefs", text by Benjamin Capps Time Life Books, Alexandria, Virginia, 1975.
The American Heritage Book of Indians - Narrative by William Brandon American Heritage Publ. Inc., New York, 1961.
"Ghost Dance" : http://www.swoyersart.com/howard_terpning/ghost_dance.htm