Old West Lifestyle & Stories


On December 29 in 1890, the final chapter in America’s Indian wars was written as the U.S. Cavalry killed 146 Sioux at Wounded Knee.
Throughout 1890, the U.S. government had been worrying about a Ghost Dance spiritual movement, which taught that Indians had been defeated and confined to reservations because they had angered the gods by abandoning their traditional customs.  If they practiced the Ghost Dance and rejected the ways of the white man, the gods would create the world anew and destroy all non-believers, including non-Indians.

The U.S. Army’s 7th cavalry surrounded a band of Ghost Dancers under the Sioux Chief Big Foot near Wounded Knee Creek and demanded they surrender their weapons.  As that was happening, a fight broke out between an Indian and a U.S. soldier and a shot was fired.  A brutal battle followed, in which it’s estimated almost 150 Indians were killed.  Nearly half of them were women and children.  The cavalry lost 25 men.

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