Atrocities that took place at Wounded Knee
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According to Black Elk, there was a lot of killing of Natives at Wounded Knee. Soldiers killed and wounded many women, children and little babies. Wagon guns had torn to pieces some bodies. The soldiers shot at the mostly unarmed Natives while they attempted to flee.
According to the description of President Harrison, the killing of the natives was crucial to protect and save the life of the settlers. The victims deserved the atrocities meted out at them. President Harrison posited that the Natives were naturally warlike and troublesome. He credited the soldiers for defeating the enemies “with the least possible loss of life”.
Who was to Blame?
Black Elk blamed the soldiers for the Wounded Knee Massacre. The soldiers had shot at the starving, freezing and disarmed Natives. The soldiers had collected the weapons of the victims and, as a result, rendered them unable to protect themselves. Besides, it was easy to execute the victims because a large number of them were women, children and the elderly. Out of the 400 natives, only 100 were warriors.
President Harrison blamed the Natives for the massacre. He said that the natives were “naturally warlike and turbulent”. Moreover, their medicine men and chiefs had deceived them that the soldiers were enemies and that they could defeat them through fighting. According to Harrison, the massacre was an act of self-defense by the soldiers.
Future of Native Americans
President Harrison envisioned that the acts of the soldiers would benefit the future Native Americans. He posited that there was likely to be increased wealth from the converting “waste lands into farms”. He also posited that there would be betterment of families through renewed hope and courage in owning homes and ideal subsistence “under free and healthful conditions”.
Contrary, Black Elk wanted revenge for the massacre. He saw the massacre as outrageous and hoped that one day the natives would fight back.
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