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Description

Interesting battle plan depicting the Battle of Wounded Knee / Wounded Knee Massacre

Wounded Knee resulted in the killing of several hundred Lakota Indians, almost half of whom were women and children, by soldiers of the United States Army, on December 29, 1890, near Wounded Knee, South Dakota, following a botched attempt to disarm the Lakota camp.

The previous day, a detachment of the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment commanded by Major Samuel M. Whitside intercepted Spotted Elk's band of Miniconjou Lakota and 38 Hunkpapa Lakota near Porcupine Butte and escorted them 5 miles  westward to Wounded Knee Creek, where they made camp. The remainder of the 7th Cavalry Regiment, led by Colonel James W. Forsyth, arrived and surrounded the encampment. The regiment was supported by a battery of four Hotchkiss mountain guns.

On the morning of December 29, the U.S. Cavalry troops went into the camp to disarm the Lakota. One version of events claims that during the process of disarming the Lakota, a deaf tribesman named Black Coyote was reluctant to give up his rifle, claiming he had paid a lot for it. Simultaneously, an old man was performing a ritual called the Ghost Dance. Black Coyote's rifle went off at that point, and the U.S. army began shooting at the Native Americans. The Lakota warriors fought back, but many had already been stripped of their guns and disarmed.

By the time the massacre was over, between 250 and 300 men, women, and children of the Lakota had been killed and 51 were wounded (4 men and 47 women and children, some of whom died later); some estimates placed the number of dead at 300. Twenty-five soldiers also died, and thirty-nine were wounded (six of the wounded later died).