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 actually one other tragic occasion in a bigger development of conquest, destruction, killing, and damaged provides 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, girls, 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 snowstorm swept during the geographical region. a couple of days later, veteran military general practitioner John Vance Lauderdale arrived for responsibility on the close by Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. surprised via what he encountered, he wrote quite a few letters to his closest kinfolk 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 existence and a private remark of the tragedy, untainted through self-serving memory or decorated newspaper and political studies. His experience of frustration and outrage towards the army command, particularly in regards to the strategies used opposed to the Lakota, is vividly obvious during this intimate view of Lauderdale's lifestyles. His correspondence presents new perception right into a commonly used topic and used to be written on the top of the cultural fight among the U.S. and Lakota humans. Jerry Green's cautious modifying of this gigantic assortment, a part of the toilet 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
III I Figure 5. Map Redrawn by Dell Darling, Nebraska State Historical Society. Map of the Battlefield of Wounde( Knee Creek. (From a map in the James W. :-:-:-18(fl~r- 17 ~ ------- ~----- ~ ~ ~ 1} ~ § .... ~ <$ ~ 4. 3. 2. I. "K" "G" "E" "D" "e" "A&I" "B" "A&I" 76 men from A&I troops forming dismounted line of sentinels. Detachments from A&I troops. Troop B dismounted in line. Troop C mounted in line (Sorrel troop). Troop D mounted in line (Black troop). Troop E mounted in line (Bay troop). Troop G mounted in line (Gray troop).
Chapter Two The Letters Detroit to Chicago Jan. 1, 1891 Dear Joe, Reached Syracuse and found Central Train 40 minutes late. Took sleeper for Chicago. Felt tired and sleepy, went to my berth early. Slept some, but would have preferred my little bed at Ft O[ntario]. M. Good breakfast feel better for it. Papers contain more particulars of the fight near the Agency at Pine Ridge. 1 There must be a great need of Medical Officers to look after the wounded and my services are needed more [there] than at Ft.
17. CJ ;:l-' W IJt ~ ;;:l ;: i ~ I;l tJ:I ~ ;;:l 0 '".... -§ 36 After Wounded Knee Wounded Lakota prisoners inside the Episcopal Chnrch at Pine Ridge. Photograph courtesy of the Sonth Dakota State Historical Society. 94 Dr. Ewing stated, "I have reason to believe that some of our men were killed by the fire of others of our troops. 1 base it from the position of the troops . Most injury was inflicted upon Captain Wallace's Troop K ... "95 News of the massacre soon spread to the bands who had started to return to Pine Ridge.
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