Wounded Knee, South Dakota, 1998


"Many innocent women and children who knew no wrong died here."

- inscription on Wounded Knee monument

 

On December 28, 1890 the United States Army caught up with a small band of fleeing Sioux indians under Chief Big Foot at Wounded Knee Creek. A confused exchange of fire from small arms and four cannons left most of Big Foot's band dead. It was the last such tragedy in the sad history of armed conflict between native North Americans and the US army. The picture above is of the gate to the cemetary where the band members are buried. Below are photographs of Big Foot,one ten years before Wounded Knee and one of the broken old chief in death as he lay where he fell with his people on this sorrowful little battlefield.

"I did not know then how much was ended. When I look back now from this high hill of my old age, I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And I see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people's dream died there. It was a beautiful dream . . . the nation's hoop is broken and scattered. There is no center any longer, and the sacred tree is dead." - Black Elk

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