By John Vance Lauderdale, Jerry Green
The Wounded Knee bloodbath of December 29, 1890, identified to U.S. army historians because the final conflict in "the Indian Wars," was once in fact one other tragic occasion in a bigger development of conquest, destruction, killing, and damaged offers that proceed to today. 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, girls, and youngsters at Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota. within the aftermath, the damaged, twisted our bodies of the Lakota humans have been quickly coated by way of a blanket of snow, as a snow fall swept in the course of the geographical region. a couple of days later, veteran military health practitioner John Vance Lauderdale arrived for responsibility on the close by Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. surprised by way of what he encountered, he wrote quite a few letters to his closest kin detailing the occasions, aftermath, and everyday life at the Reservation lower than army career. He additionally handled the wounded, either Cavalry squaddies and Lakota civilians. What distinguishes After Wounded Knee from the big 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 through self-serving memory or decorated newspaper and political stories. His experience of frustration and outrage towards the army command, particularly about 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 conventional topic and used to be written on the peak of the cultural fight among the U.S. and Lakota humans. Jerry Green's cautious modifying of this huge assortment, a part of the loo Vance Lauderdale Papers within the Western Americana assortment in Yale University's Beinecke Library, clarifies Lauderdale's stories on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
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Additional resources for After Wounded Knee
24 Page 19 The treaty negotiated at the end of the Red Cloud War of 1868 designated the western half of South Dakota for the Lakota reservation. The right to hunt on the land north of the North Platte and the Republican Fork of the Smoky Hill River, their traditional hunting lands, as reserved exclusively for the Lakota. 25 The Indians believed that they had retained the exclusive right to hunt within the limits of their old range, which included parts of present day Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota (see fig.
These reservations were Standing Rock, Cheyenne River, Lower Brule, Crow Creek, Pine Ridge, and Rosebud (see fig. 3). These remaining reservation lands were arid, sandy, and not suited to Page 20 Figure 1. Sioux Reservation after the treaty of 1868. Figure 2. Sioux Reservation after the treaty of 1876. Page 21 Figure 3. Sioux Reservation after the Land Agreement of 1889. agriculture. Droughts commonly resulted in failures of the meager crops that were raised. 29 Some opted to use the land to graze livestock, as country was better suited for grazing than farming.
31 The situation grew worse after the government reduced rations. Page 22 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. For example, the beef ration was cut on the Rosebud reservation by 2 million pounds and on Pine Ridge by 1 million pounds.
After Wounded Knee by John Vance Lauderdale, Jerry Green