Letter written at Wounded Knee

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Description

The massacre at Wounded Knee was the last major struggle on the Plains between the U.

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The massacre at Wounded Knee was the last major struggle on the Plains between the U.S. government and Native Americans. On the morning of 29th December 1890, the 7th Cavalry entered the camp of 340 Sioux at Wounded Knee Creek. As they began collecting the weapons of the Sioux, a shot was fired. Panic and confusion ensued as both sides fired at each other. The Sioux were outnumbered and within minutes most had been slaughtered. The exact number of deaths is unknown and estimates range from 150 to 300. Most of the dead were women and children.

This letter was written by Walter Crickett, who served with the 7th Cavalry. His account details events before and during the tragic confrontation. The soldier writes about leaving Fort Riley, Kansas for Wounded Knee in order to help with the uprising there. He describes the events of the massacre from the US Cavalry's viewpoint. Goes on to write about events after the massacre as the Cavalry returned to the Pine Ridge Agency - there was another smaller fight with American Indians, after they set fire to a missionary.

'The value of this letter as a primary source is that it is ‘unspoiled’. Of course it reflects only one side of the battle, but even so, it helps to put things in a more balanced perspective.' Marjolein van der Vlies, Student Intern

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Dated

From 1890 to 1891

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Materials

» paper (fibre product)
» ink

Technique

» writing (processes)

Production place

» Wounded Knee, South Dakota

Object number

1975.154

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