Military Campaigns of the Indian Wars: Pine Ridge – 1890-1891
Accumulated grievances, aggravated by teachings of an Indian prophet named Wovoka, who claimed to be the Messiah, brought about this last major conflict with the Sioux. General Nelson Miles, commander of the Department of the Missouri, responded to a Department of Interior request to check the rising ferment by ordering apprehension of the great Sioux leader, Sitting Bull, who was killed during the attempted arrest at Standing Rock Agency on December 15, 1890. Meanwhile, large numbers of Sioux had been assembling in the Bad Lands, and a serious clash took place at Wounded Knee Creek on December 29, 1890 between Colonel James W. Forsyth’s 7th Cavalry and Chief Big Foot’s band with considerable losses on both sides. Almost half the infantry and cavalry of the Regular Army were concentrated in the area and in January, 1891 the warriors were disarmed and persuaded to return peaceably to their reservations.