1890 - Wounded Knee

Chief Big Foot lies frozen where he and more than 150 women, children, were massacred by 7th Cavalry at Wounded Knee.

         Word spread quickly through Indian Country that Sitting Bull had been killed at Standing Rock by members of his own tribe.  Hearing this news prompted another Sioux chief, Big Foot, to move his small band to a more protected and remote area on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota.  Army troops that had been given orders to put an end to the Ghost Dance among the plains tribes, were on patrol in the area when Big Foot's band began its march.

Wounded Knee Masacre

  The frozen corpse of a Sioux Indian following the 7th Cavalry's unprovoked massacre of Big Foot's band of Indians at Wounded Knee in December, 1890.  Many said this attack was retribution for Sitting Bull anihilating George Custer's command at the Little Big Horn in 1776.   

        Big Foot, who was sick with pneumonia, flew a white flag of peace from his wagon and readily surrendered when his band encountered the mounted troops.   The weather was clear and bitterly cold.  He agreed to have his warrior surrender as well, before traveling on, and when the troops arrived in the morning to collect weapons from the warriors, a gun discharged during an altercation and 500 troops opened indiscriminate fire with four howitzers and rifles into the center of the encampment (which was mostly women, children, and old people).  One hundred and forty-six defenseless Indians were killed, and another fifty-one were seriously wounded.   Among the survivors was a young boy who would become famous as the spiritual leader named Black Elk.

         This was the last battle of the Indian Wars on the Plains.