Wounded Knee

Benjamin Harrison

Definition and Summary of the Wounded Knee Massacre
Summary and Definition: The massacre at Wounded Knee took place on December 29, 1890 on the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation at Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota. The incident was sparked by the Ghost Dance movement and the death of Chief Sitting Bull. It involved the 7th US Cavalry under Colonel James W. Forsyth who clashed with the Lakota Sioux. The Lakota Sioux were led by Spotted Elk, also known as Big Foot. The conflict resulted in the massacre of nearly 400 Lakota Sioux the majority of which were women and children. 

Wounded Knee Massacre
Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd American President who served in office from March 4, 1889 to March 4, 1893. One of the important events during his presidency was the Wounded Knee Massacre.


Ghost Dance - Wounded Knee Massacre

The Ghost Dance

Wounded Knee Creek
The site of the conflict was Wounded Knee Creek. Wounded Knee Creek is a branch of the White River in the Black Hills of South Dakota 

Wounded Knee History: The Ghost Dance Movement
The Wounded Knee massacre occured during a turbulent time in U.S. history. Native American Indians had been dispossessed of their lands outnumbered by the white Europeans and forcibly relocated to inhospitable reservations. The Ghost Dance Movement was a religious and spiritual revival of the Great Plains Indian tribes. The Medicine Man, or Shaman, called Wovoka had experienced visions and prophesized that by performing the Ghost Dance the ghosts, or spirits of the dead, would re-unite with the living and bring peace and prosperity to Native American Indians. The U.S. Government were concerned about the rapid growth of the Ghost Dance Movement and believed that Chief Sitting Bull would start an Indian uprising. Their attempts to arrest Sitting Bull led to his death, which in turn resulted in the Wounded Knee 

Wounded Knee Facts for kids
Interesting facts about the Wounded Knee Massacre for kids are detailed below. The history of the Wounded Knee Massacre is told in a factual sequence consisting of a series of short facts providing a simple method of relating the history and events of the Wounded Knee.

Wounded Knee Facts for kids

Wounded Knee Fact 1: The Ghost Dance Movement started in 1888 by Wovoka spread words of hope among the tribes, especially the Lakota Sioux of the Great Plains.

Wounded Knee Fact 2: The Ghost Dancers quickly increased in number. Wovoka was clear that the Ghost Dance was a peaceful movement and there should be no fighting.

Wounded Knee Fact 3: Two Sioux chiefs, Grant Short Bull and Kicking Bear, believed that militant action would accelerate the removal of the white man from North America.

Wounded Knee Fact 4: The Battle of Little Bighorn was fought less than 20 years previously. The memory of the shocking defeat of the 7th Cavalry led by General George Custer against Chief Sitting Bull unnerved the US Government who attempted to ban the Ghost Dance.

Wounded Knee Fact 5: An attempt was made to arrest Chief Sitting Bull on December 15, 1890 at the Standing Rock Reservation. A gun fight broke out and Chief Sitting Bull was killed. Twenty-eight soldiers were killed and another 30 were wounded.

Wounded Knee Fact 6: Fearing further repercussions, Chief Spotted Elk, also known as Big Foot, led the followers of Sitting Bull to the "Bad Lands" of Dakota and to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to seek shelter with Chief Red Cloud.

Wounded Knee Fact 7: They were pursued by the U.S. Army but avoided them for 5 days. During this time Chief Spotted Elk contracted pneumonia and became extremely sick.

Wounded Knee Fact 8: The government ordered that the Native Indians should be compelled to give up their weapons, believing that  the disarming of the Indians was the only way to ensure peace.

Wounded Knee Fact 9: On December 28, the 7th Cavalry, under the leadership of Colonel James W. Forsyth, intercepted the ailing Spotted Elk and his people at near Porcupine Butte and ordered them to camp 5 miles away at Wounded Knee Creek.

Wounded Knee Fact 10: Colonel James W. Forsyth ordered them to make ready to give up their weapons.


Wounded Knee Facts for kids

Wounded Knee Massacre for kids
The info about the Wounded Knee Massacre provides interesting facts and important information about this important event that occured during the presidency of the 23rd President of the United States of America.

Wounded Knee Facts for kids
Interesting facts about the Wounded Knee are continued below.

Wounded Knee Facts for kids

Wounded Knee Fact 11: The Native Indians complied with the request and stacked their guns and knives outside the tepee of Spotted Elk.

Wounded Knee Fact 12: The 7th Cavalry had surrounded the Native Indian camp that consisted of families with young children and babies. The troops were supported by four Hotchkiss guns.

Wounded Knee Fact 13: The Hotchkiss gun was a type of Cannon consisting of a revolving barrel machine gun designed to be light enough to travel with cavalry.

The revolving Hotchkiss cannon was capable of firing 68 rounds per minute with a range of 2,000 yards.

Hotchkiss gun

Wounded Knee Fact 14: Chief Spotted Elk had no intention of fighting the cavalry. There were 500 US troops and Chief Spotted Elk had less than 100 men.

Wounded Knee Fact 15: Soldiers entered the camp to collect the weapons. According to some records, a Shaman named Yellow Bird began to perform the Ghost Dance.

Wounded Knee Fact 16: Yellow Bird resisted being searched by a soldier. A gun went off - and the massacre began.

Wounded Knee Fact 17: Yellow Bird was shot dead. The soldiers entered the tepee of the sick Spotted Elk and he was killed where he lay. Shots were fired at all the people who desperately tried to escape the carnage. But the guns kept firing.

Wounded Knee Fact 18: Soldiers on the hill fired at the teepees with the Hotchkiss guns. The bodies of men, women and were scattered for over a mile from the camp site.

Wounded Knee Fact 19: After a terrible blizzard that lasted for three days the frozen bodies of 400 Native Indians were collected and, without ceremony, thrown in a mass grave.

Wounded Knee Fact 20: Army casualties numbered 25 dead and 39 wounded. The Army awarded twenty Medals of Honor and Colonel James W. Forsyth was promoted to Major General.

Wounded Knee Facts for kids

Wounded Knee Massacre for kids - President Benjamin Harrison Video
The article on the Wounded Knee provides detailed facts and a summary of one of the important events during his presidential term in office. The following Benjamin Harrison video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 23rd American President whose presidency spanned from March 4, 1889 to March 4, 1893.

Wounded Knee

● Interesting Facts about Wounded Knee for kids and schools
● Summary of the Wounded Knee Massacre in US history
● The Wounded Knee, a major event in US history
● Benjamin Harrison Presidency from March 4, 1889 to March 4, 1893
● Fast, fun, interesting facts about the Wounded Knee Massacre
● Foreign & Domestic policies of President Benjamin Harrison
● Benjamin Harrison Presidency and Wounded Knee Massacre for schools, homework, kids and children

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