Gathering Up the Dead at the Battlefield of Wounded Knee, South Dakota Digital History ID 2608|
Credit: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History
Media type: photograph
Annotation: Beginning in the 1870s, a religious movement known as the Ghost Dance arose among Indians, which promised to restore the way of life of their ancestors. Fearful that the Ghost Dance would lead to a Sioux uprising, army officials ordered Indian police to arrest the Sioux leader Sitting Bull. When Sitting Bull resisted, he was killed. In the ensuing panic, his followers fled the Sioux reservation. Federal troops tracked down the Indians and took them to a cavalry camp on Wounded Knee Creek. There, on December 29, 1890, one of the most brutal incidents in American history took place. While soldiers disarmed the Sioux, someone fired a gun. The soldiers responded by using machine guns to slaughter over 200 Indian men, women, and children.
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