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By John Vance Lauderdale, Jerry Green

The Wounded Knee bloodbath of December 29, 1890, identified to U.S. army historians because the final conflict in "the Indian Wars," used to be in fact one other tragic occasion in a bigger development of conquest, destruction, killing, and damaged gives you that proceed to at the present time.      On a chilly winter's morning greater than a century in the past, the U.S. 7th Cavalry attacked and killed greater than 260 Lakota males, ladies, and kids at Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota. within the aftermath, the damaged, twisted our bodies of the Lakota humans have been quickly coated via a blanket of snow, as a snowfall swept in the course of the nation-state. a couple of days later, veteran military doctor John Vance Lauderdale arrived for responsibility on the within sight Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. surprised by means of what he encountered, he wrote various letters to his closest relatives detailing the occasions, aftermath, and lifestyle at the Reservation less than army career. He additionally handled the wounded, either Cavalry squaddies and Lakota civilians. What distinguishes After Wounded Knee from the massive physique of literature already to be had at the bloodbath is Lauderdale's frank value determinations of army existence and a private commentary of the tragedy, untainted via self-serving memory or decorated newspaper and political studies. His feel of frustration and outrage towards the army command, particularly about the strategies used opposed to the Lakota, is vividly obvious during this intimate view of Lauderdale's lifestyles. His correspondence offers new perception right into a usual topic and was once written on the top of the cultural fight among the U.S. and Lakota humans. Jerry Green's cautious modifying of this colossal assortment, a part of the toilet Vance Lauderdale Papers within the Western Americana assortment in Yale University's Beinecke Library, clarifies Lauderdale's reports on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

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Figure 2. Sioux Reservation after the treaty of 1876. Page 21 Figure 3. Sioux Reservation after the Land Agreement of 1889. agriculture. Droughts commonly resulted in failures of the meager crops that were raised. 29 Some opted to use the land to graze livestock, as country was better suited for grazing than farming. The Lakota did not have that option. They were forced to attempt to raise crops in spite of the government's refusal to provide the full allowances of seed, agricultural tools, oxen, or cows.

The situation which resulted has been labeled many things: The Great Sioux War of 18901891; The Ghost Dance War; The Sioux Uprising; or The Messiah Craze War. S. soldiers. The Lakota people then living on the reservations had from sheer desperation turned to a new religion, looking for hope in their dismal existence. When ordered to stop the practice of this new religion, they refused. When they asked for the same religious freedom granted by the constitution of the whites, they were perceived as hostile and war-like, even though they did not possess a standing army and were without the means to offer armerd resistance, especially in the winter.

Lauderdale was contemptuous of the system that allowed dishonest agents to profit at the expense of the Indians. The years between 1879 and 1881 were spent in the South at posts that included Mount Vernon Barracks Alabama; Newport Barracks, Kentucky; McPherson Barracks, Georgia; and Jackson Barracks, New Orleans. Lauderdale's time in the deep South solidified his sympathetic attitude toward blacks. C. Caldwell, to help her with her education, enabling her to obtain a teaching certificate. He also occasionally attended services at various black churches.

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