The Battle of Wounded Knee The Battle at Wounded Knee Creek

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The Battle of Wounded Knee

The Battle at Wounded Knee Creek was the last major armed conflict between the Lakota and the United States, subsequently described as a "massacre" by General Nelson A. Miles in a letter to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. On December 29, 1890, five hundred troops of the U.S. 7th Cavalry, supported by four Hotchkiss guns (a lightweight artillery piece capable of rapid fire), surrounded an encampment of the Lakota Sioux with orders to escort them to the railroad for transport to Omaha, Nebraska. By the time it was over, 25 troopers and more than 150 Lakota Sioux lay dead, including men, women, and children. Some of the soldiers are believed to have been the victims of "friendly fire" because the shooting took place at point blank range in chaotic conditions. Around 150 Lakota are believed to have fled the chaos, many of whom may have died from hypothermia.

The Ghost Dance

Directions: As you watch the video, answer the questions below. The questions are in the order of the video.

  1. By 1890, Native American reservations were broken up by what law (act)?

  2. While Sitting Bull was living on the Standing Rock reservation, what was his premonition?

  3. What was the name of the ceremony which was taught to Sitting Bull?

  4. What was the purpose of the Ghost Dance ceremony? (i.e. What would be observed?)

  5. Why were 5,000 U.S. troops sent to maintain order in the Dakotas?

  6. What happened to Sitting Bull?

  7. When the Lakota fled, where did the U.S. Army lead them?

  8. What happened on December 29, 1890?

  9. What happened on January 15, 1891?

  10. Using the excerpt above, explain the significance of the Battle of Wounded Knee.

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