By John Vance Lauderdale, Jerry Green
The Wounded Knee bloodbath of December 29, 1890, recognized to U.S. army historians because the final conflict in "the Indian Wars," was once actually one other tragic occasion in a bigger trend of conquest, destruction, killing, and damaged offers that proceed to this present day. 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, girls, 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 by way of a blanket of snow, as a snowstorm swept during the geographical region. a number of days later, veteran military health care professional John Vance Lauderdale arrived for accountability on the close by Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. surprised via what he encountered, he wrote various letters to his closest family detailing the occasions, aftermath, and way of life at the Reservation below army profession. He additionally handled the wounded, either Cavalry infantrymen and Lakota civilians. What distinguishes After Wounded Knee from the massive physique of literature already on hand at the bloodbath is Lauderdale's frank value determinations of army existence and a private remark of the tragedy, untainted by means of self-serving memory or decorated newspaper and political experiences. 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 presents new perception right into a ordinary 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 large assortment, a part of the loo Vance Lauderdale Papers within the Western Americana assortment in Yale University's Beinecke Library, clarifies Lauderdale's studies on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
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Additional info for After Wounded Knee
The couple reported to Fort Sully, twenty-three miles north of the present-day capital of Pierre, South Dakota, on the Missouri River. While there, Lauderdale was able to pursue his interest in geology, spending time in the Bad Lands west of Sully exploring and digging for fossils. He also enjoyed taking weather observations. He expressed as much fascination over the extremely cold temperatures of the Dakota winters as he had over the extreme heat of Arizona. Fort Sully was situated deep in the heart of Sioux country.
As a bonus he would be paid at the same rate as a second lieutenant, $100 per month. He obtained permission to delay reporting for his staff appointment at Bellevue. Assigned to the Department of Tennessee, he served on the hospital ship D. A. January under the medical command of Alexander Hoff. 3 The steamer transported over 3,000 wounded soldiers, both Union and Confederate, during the five months Lauderdale served aboard her. He was disappointed that most of the casualties treated were due to illness and did not require the surgical treatment that Lauderdale had hoped to practice.
He also provided to posterity a view of the daily life in the American West through the writings contained in his journals and letters. The majority of his writings cover his career in the military, which began during the American Civil War and lasted until he retired in 1896. His views and opinions were freely expressed in letters to his wife and sister, private letters that tend to present a reliable depiction of events with more perception than official reports or stories written for publication in the mass media.