The Story of Wounded Knee Essays

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“What have the ‘hostiles done? It seems to be so far a white man’s war” (Qtd. in Hines 30). The Indians that were killed at Wounded Knee committed no crime on their reservation in the time before the battle (Hines 36), they only practiced religion. The Ghost Dance movement resulted in a massacre at Wounded Knee which had a lasting impact on many people.

The religion of the Ghost Dance started with a man named Wovoka. On January 1, 1889, he had a ‘vision’ during a solar eclipse in Nevada (Peterson 27). It brought a message of hope to the oppressed Indians of only the Indians living. The Indians called Wovoka the ‘Messiah’ (“The Ghost Dance” par. 1) and it was believed that he would bring a “day of deliverance” (Phillips 16) to the
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The Ghost Dance gave many Indians hope, and that hope drove around three thousand Indians to the Pine Lake Reservation also known as the Stronghold (Phillips par. 5). In response to the Indians’ movement and the Ghost Dance, the government sent half of the U.S. army to the Indian reservation (Robertson par. 3). The government felt threatened by the mass of Indians. To lessen the threat, the government decided to target who they thought were the leaders of the Ghost Dance.

Sitting Bull, the Hunkpapa Lakota chief (Robertson par. 5) was decided a threat by the government, even though he was not a Ghost Dance leader (Koster 25). On December 15, 1890 (Robertson par. 5), Indian police came to arrest Sitting Bull. He agreed to go with the police peacefully (Flood 34), but the other Indians in his tribe did not and tried to stop the arrest. Catch-the-Bear shouted, “Let us protect our chief!” He then proceeded to fire his gun at Bull Head, an Indian police, hitting him in the side. Bull Head’s weapon discharged while he was turned around and hit Sitting Bull in the chest. Then Red Tomahawk finished the struggle by shooting Sitting Bull in the back of the head (Phillips 18). The Indian police even shot Sitting Bull’s as he begged for his life. It isn’t recalled who shot the son since many officers fired at once (Flood 35).

Another target was Big Foot—the
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