THEN (Wounded Knee, SD, 1890):
In the first seconds of violence, the firing of carbines was deafening, filling the air with powder smoke. Among the dying who lay sprawled on the frozen ground was (Chief) Big Foot… “I was running away from the place and followed those who were running away,” said Hakiktawin. “My grandmother and brother were killed as we crossed the ravine, and then I was shot on the right hip clear through and on my right wrist where I did not go any further as I was not able to walk, and after the soldier picked me up where a little girl came to me and crawled into the blanket.”
When the madness ended, Big Foot and more than half of his people were dead or seriously wounded; 153 were know dead, but many of the wounded crawled away to die afterward. The soldiers lost twenty-five dead and thirty-nine wounded, most of them struck by their own bullets or shrapnel.
A detail of soldiers went over the Wounded Knee battlefield, gathering up Indians who were still alive and loading them into wagons. As it was apparent by the end of the day that a blizzard was approaching, the dead Indians were left lying where they had fallen.
The wagon loads of wounded Sioux (four men and 47 women and children) reached Pine Ridge after dark. Because all available barracks were filled with soldiers, they were left lying in the open wagons in the bitter cold while an inept Army officer searched for shelter. Finally, an Episcopal mission was opened, the benches taken out, and hay scattered over the rough flooring.
It was the fourth day after Christmas in the Year of Our Lord 1890. When the first torn and bleeding bodies were carried into the candlelit church, those who were conscious could see Christmas greenery handing from the open rafters. Across the chancel front above the pulpit was strung a crudely lettered banner:
PEACE ON EARTH, GOOD WILL TO MEN.
(excerpts from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee brown)
NOW (Ferguson, MO, 2014):