Battle of Wounded Knee

Wounded Knee

Wounded Knee, creek, rising in SW S.Dak. and flowing NW to the White River; site of the last major battle of the Indian wars. After the death of Sitting Bull, a band of Sioux, led by Big Foot, fled into the badlands, where they were captured by the 7th Cavalry on Dec. 28, 1890, and brought to the creek. On Dec. 29, the Sioux were ordered disarmed; but when a medicine man threw dust into the air, a warrior pulled a gun and wounded an officer. The U.S. troops opened fire, and within minutes almost 200 men, women, and children were shot. The soldiers later claimed that it was difficult to distinguish the Sioux women from the men. See also Ghost Dance. The site, which is on the Pine Ridge reservation, is now a national historic landmark.

The village of Wounded Knee, which borders the creek, was seized and occupied (Feb.–May, 1973) by American Indian Movement and Oglala Sioux activists protesting the treatment of Native Americans and the governance of the tribe. An armed standoff resulted between the occupiers and federal authorities, and several persons died from gunshots during the 71-day occupation. After the Native Americans surrendered, the leaders of the occupation were tried, but the case was dismissed on grounds of misconduct by the prosecution.

See H. Cox, Wounded Knee (2010).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Battle of Wounded Knee: Selected full-text books and articles

Voices of Wounded Knee By William S. E. Coleman University of Nebraska Press, 2000
After Wounded Knee By John Vance Lauderdale; Jerry Green Michigan State University Press, 1996
Great Western Indian Fights By Members of the Potomac Corral of The Westerners University of Nebraska Press, 1960
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 25 "Tragedy at Wounded Knee"
From Fort Laramie to Wounded Knee: In the West That Was By Charles W. Allen; Richard E. Jensen University of Nebraska Press, 1997
Enduring Legacies: Native American Treaties and Contemporary Controversies By Bruce E. Johansen Praeger, 2004
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "Wounded Knee, 1890: Battle or Massacre: A Treaty Context"
Voices of the American West: The Indian Interviews of Eli S. Ricker, 1903-1919 By Richard E. Jensen University of Nebraska Press, vol.1, 2005
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "The Ghost Dance and Wounded Knee"
Voices of the American West: The Settler and Soldier Interviews of Eli S. Ricker, 1903-1919 By Karra E. Jensen University of Nebraska Press, vol.2, 2006
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "Wounded Knee"
Moon of Popping Trees By Rex Alan Smith University of Nebraska Press, 1981
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 13 "Wounded Knee"
The Ghost-Dance Religion and the Sioux Outbreak of 1890 By James Mooney University of Nebraska Press, 1991
Librarian’s tip: Chap. XIII "The Sioux Outbreak - Sitting Bull and Wounded Knee"
The Sixth Grandfather: Black Elk's Teachings Given to John G. Neihardt By Black Elk; John G. Neihardt; Raymond J. DeMallie University of Nebraska Press, 1984
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "The Ghost Dance and Wounded Knee (1889-91)" and "The Wounded Knee Massacre" begins on p. 269
The Great Father: The United States Government and the American Indians By Francis Paul Prucha University of Nebraska Press, 1984
Librarian’s tip: "The Lesson of Wounded Knee" begins on p. 726
Wounded Knee 1973: A Personal Account By Stanley David Lyman; Floyd A. O'Neil; June K. Lyman; Susan McKay University of Nebraska Press, 1993
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