Native American

After Wounded Knee: Correspondence of Major and Surgeon John by Jerry Green

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," was once in fact one other tragic occasion in a bigger trend of conquest, destruction, killing, and damaged supplies 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 lined by way of a blanket of snow, as a snow fall swept in the course of the geographical region. a number of days later, veteran military medical professional John Vance Lauderdale arrived for responsibility on the within reach Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. surprised via what he encountered, he wrote a variety of letters to his closest relatives detailing the occasions, aftermath, and everyday life at the Reservation below army profession. He additionally handled the wounded, either Cavalry squaddies 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 lifestyles and a private remark of the tragedy, untainted via self-serving memory or adorned newspaper and political studies. His feel of frustration and outrage towards the army command, specifically in regards to the strategies used opposed to the Lakota, is vividly obvious during this intimate view of Lauderdale's existence. His correspondence presents new perception right into a everyday topic and used to be written on the peak 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 studies on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

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Extra 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

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Ford Kent, and Captain Frank D. Baldwin. Colonel Carr, however, resigned Chapter One: Background 39 from the board because of the political pressures he knew would come to bear on the members. lOS Desiring a quick end to the sordid affair, pressure did indeed come from Washington, thus making the board's job nearly impossible. The investigation, perhaps yielding to this pressure,l06 concluded that Colonel Forsyth was not culpable. Captain Baldwin did believe a massacre had taken place, but for reasons known only to him his report helped to exonerate Forsyth.

4), Big Foot was not going toward the Stronghold in the Bad Lands but to the agency at Pine Ridge. Units were ordered-to the field to locate and obtain the surrender of Big Foot and his followers. On 28 December 1890 elements of the Seventh Cavalry and First Artilery under the command of Major Sammuel M. Whitside intercepted this cold, tired, hungry band of Lakota on the main road near Porcupine Butte en route to the agency at. Pine Ridge. S. Cavalry at Pine Ridge 1890. Photograph by Clarence G.

One tactic was to fabricate heroes. To accomplish this, many of the soldiers involved were recommended for brevet promotions, certificates of merit, mention in orders, and the Congressional Medal of Honor. In all, thirty-two men were named for their actions in the Wounded Knee fight, not including those officers recommended for brevet promotion. A total of twenty-five men were recommended for the Congressional Medal of Honor, and of these twenty were awarded. 109 The Seventh Cavalry never showed regret for their actions at Wounded Knee.

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