The slaughter of approximately 150–300 Lakota Indians by United States Army troops
On December 29, 1890, in the final chapter of America’s long Indian wars, the U.S. Cavalry kills 146 Sioux at Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. U.S. Army’s 7th cavalry surrounded a band of Ghost Dancers under the Sioux Chief Big Foot near Wounded Knee Creek and demanded they surrender their weapons. As that was happening, a fight broke out between an Indian and a U.S. soldier and a shot was fired, although it’s unclear from which side. A brutal massacre followed, in which it’s estimated almost 150 Indians were killed (some historians put this number at twice as high), nearly half of them women and children. The cavalry lost 25 men. As horrible as the act itself remains, it seems even worse to add insult to injury, and the Army awarded twenty men the Medal of Honor. And the definition of valor, a word inscribed on the medal, does not include running down and killing wounded, fleeing non-combatants.