Essay Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee

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Two squadrons of the Seventh Cavalry under Major Whitside with two mountain guns and pack animals left camp at Wounded Knee Creek on December 28, 1890 on receiving reports from scouts that Big Foot was at Porcupine Creek, about nine miles to the east.

The Indians when met at the Porcupine were in battle array, painted and stripped.

Edgerly’s troop was mounted near the foot of this hill and took no part in the fight in the initial stages.

The mounted troops beyond the camp did not fire a shot at this time.

After some parleying, the Indians surrendered and were marched under guard to our bivouac at Wounded Knee Creek where they formed their camp in a rough semicircle close to our own.

Here were assembled the braves, their families, impedimenta and a herd of about one hundred and fifty ponies.As the herd passed up the valley in a dense cloud of dust, it was impossible to see individual Indians.Occasionally one could see a blanketed head, but whether man or woman, it was not possible to tell.Big Foot, lying on a litter, had been brought out of his tepee at the first gathering of his men and was present among them during the entire scene.While waiting for a decision by the Indians their Medicine Man began a dance and chant.About two and certainly not more than three shots were fired at this objective.The mounted cavalry pursued, capturing some and forcing a number of braves into a ravine where they were subsequently surrounded.Big Foot’s band had been cut off at the crossing of the White River in the attempt to reach the Bad lands and was shortly after captured by Colonel Sumner’s force.The assurance of a desire to surrender was accepted, but with the usual undependable promises of the Indians, they took up their flight during the night.My guns first opened fire on the Indians who had entered the river bed and who were firing at the troops on the hill.After some three or four shots, this fire by the guns was discontinued because of possible harm to the troops beyond the river and the guns were turned against the head of the herd, hoping to bring it to a standstill.

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