The Wounded Knee Massacre, December 29, 1890
“Big Foot, leader of the Sioux, captured at the battle of Wounded Knee, S.D.” Here he lies frozen on the snow-covered battlefield where he died, 1890
Series: Photographs of American Military Activities, ca. 1918 - ca. 1981. Record Group 111: Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer, 1860 - 1985
Growing tensions surrounding communities of Lakota Sioux on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota erupted into violence 125 years ago with the Wounded Knee Massacre on December 29, 1890.
Following weeks of unrest among the Sioux population and heightened concerns regarding their “Ghost Dance” movement, U.S. Army Cavalry intercepted a band of followers of Miniconjou chief Spotted Elk (aka “Big Foot”) prior to escorting them to the Pine Ridge Reservation. The situation quickly escalated, and during an attempt to disarm the Sioux of their weapons, shots were soon fired and in the end an estimated 150-200 Lakota Sioux were dead, including many women and children. Army casualties included 25 killed and 39 wounded.
- Brooke Reports “wild scene” and Chaotic Conditions, 12/20/1890
- Report on the Death of Sioux Chief Sitting Bull, 12/15/1890
- Order for the Arrest of Sitting Bull, 12/14/1890
- William “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s Letter Relating to Peace Prospects, 12/1890
- “Bird’s Eye View of Sioux Camp at Pine Ridge, South Dakota, 11/28/1890″
- Telegram regarding “Ghost Dances” 11/24/1890