By Jerry Green
The Wounded Knee bloodbath of December 29, 1890, recognized to U.S. army historians because the final conflict in "the Indian Wars," used to be in fact one other tragic occasion in a bigger development of conquest, destruction, killing, and damaged can provide that proceed to this day.
On a chilly winter's morning greater than a century in the past, the U.S. 7th Cavalry attacked and killed greater than 260 Lakota males, ladies, and kids at Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota. within the aftermath, the damaged, twisted our bodies of the Lakota humans have been quickly coated by means of a blanket of snow, as a snow fall swept during the geographical region. a number of days later, veteran military health care professional John Vance Lauderdale arrived for responsibility on the within reach Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. stunned by means of what he encountered, he wrote various letters to his closest kin detailing the occasions, aftermath, and lifestyle at the Reservation lower than army career. He additionally handled the wounded, either Cavalry infantrymen and Lakota civilians. What distinguishes After Wounded Knee from the massive physique of literature already on hand at the bloodbath is Lauderdale's frank value determinations of army existence and a private remark of the tragedy, untainted by means of self-serving memory or adorned newspaper and political reviews. His feel of frustration and outrage towards the army command, specially in regards to the strategies used opposed to the Lakota, is vividly obvious during this intimate view of Lauderdale's lifestyles. His correspondence offers new perception right into a generic topic and used to be written on the top of the cultural fight among the U.S. and Lakota humans. Jerry Green's cautious enhancing of this tremendous assortment, a part of the loo Vance Lauderdale Papers within the Western Americana assortment in Yale University's Beinecke Library, clarifies Lauderdale's reviews on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
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Additional resources for After Wounded Knee: Correspondence of Major and Surgeon John Vance Lauderdale while Serving with the Army Occupying the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, 1890-1891
In addition to crop failures due to drought, an outbreak of deadly black-leg disease among the Lakotas' cattle took a heavy toll. In 1889 and 1890 epidemics of la grippe, measles, and whooping cough caused suffering and death of many Lakotas. 31 The situation grew worse after the government reduced rations. 22 After Wounded Knee Perhaps the most serious blow was the reduction of rations in 1890. After the Lakotas signed the Land Agreement of 1889 surrendering over nine million acres of their land, congress cut their rations further, although the Lakotas had been assured by the commission that negotiated the agreement that their rations would not be reduced.
63 Many young Lakotas, because of forced attendance in government schools, could read and write. In addition, many mixed bloods in the employ of the government on the reservations could also read and write. The Indians were just as frightened as the settlers by the newspaper accounts they had read. They did not want the Army to occupy their reservations and feared harm from the soldiers if they came. Pressure on the government from panic-stricken settlers and the inexperienced agents finally brought troops to the reservations.
M. where I shall mail this. I shall go this evening to Omaha reaching there Friday morning, the 2nd inst. Will then call at Hd Qtrs and ascertain how to pursue my route further. A gentleman, Rev. Chas. Gardner is a passenger with me enroute to Omaha, and says many of the Army people, Gen'l Brooke and others are members of his flock. Mr. G[ ardner] used to visit Oswego and remembers when [he was] a boy, going to see Ft. Ontario. M. Station for dinner. Do not have any appetite so stopped to get a sandwich and fried cakes for my satchel and eat it when I feel like it.
After Wounded Knee: Correspondence of Major and Surgeon John Vance Lauderdale while Serving with the Army Occupying the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, 1890-1891 by Jerry Green