Yesterday, December 29, the continuous American tension with Indians finally shatters into a massacre between the Sioux Indians and the U.S Army’s 7th regiment.
It is said that this battle truly begun when an outburst of ghost dancing from the Sioux Indians brought fear of rebellion to James McLaughlin, an Indian Agent. McLaughlin later recalls what he had said to his superiors that day, “Indians are dancing in the snow and are wild and crazy...We need protection and we need it now. The leaders should be arrested and confined at some military post until the matter is quieted, and this should be done now.” This Ghost Dance Movement has recently been more prominent as the Indians begin to embrace their own culture, which have been heightening the tension between Americans and Indians. This time was indeed the last straw as Laughlin sent military into the Sioux territory to capture the Sioux leader Sitting Bull. Sitting Bull and a few Indians were later declared dead.
300 Sioux Indians were captured by U.S Army’s 7th regiment on their way to the Pine Ridge Agency to seek protection against the military, including Big Foot, their leader. They were led to the edge of Wounded Knee to be held captive. Phillip Wells, an Indian translator, recalls the scene, “ The medicine man, gaudily dressed and fantastically painted, executed the maneuvers of the ghost dance, raising and throwing dust into the air. He exclaimed 'Ha! Ha!' as he did so, meaning he was about to do something terrible, and said, 'I have lived long enough,' meaning he would fight until he died. Turning to the young warriors who were squatted together, he said 'Do not fear, but let your hearts be strong.’” Phillip Wells said as he continued to advise General Forsyth and Major Whitside of the mischief occurring with this medicine man, shots broke out from the Sioux warriors that bared hidden arms. “I shot and killed him [the medicine man] in self-defense,”