Thought I would add a some of the sworn testimony from one of the preminant historians on Wounded Knee -- Dr. Robert Utley.
In the most recent Congressional hearings on Wounded Knee, Senator James Abourezk, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced legislation in February 1976 “to award compensation to descendants of survivors of the Army’s massacre of Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee Creek” calling for “$3,000 to be paid to descendants.”This was the third time such legislation had been proposed, and the third time it had been defeated.The hearings produced almost 600 pages of invaluable testimony from expert historians such as Robert M. Utley, Dee A. Brown, and Rex A. Smith.At one point the hearings went to great pains in defining “massacre” and “battle” in attempts to properly describe the events at Wounded Knee by introducing definitions from numerous dictionaries.One definition read “the indiscriminate, merciless killing of human beings. . . .”Dr. Utley, whose 1963 landmark work, The Last Days of the Sioux Nation, more than qualified him as an expert historian, provided testimony that perhaps went the furthest in putting Wounded Knee into a proper context.
"I am fully aware that contemporary evidence can be extracted from the vast body of original sources to support almost any interpretation one wishes to place on Wounded Knee or any other controversial historical event, for that matter.Sound history, however, is careful synthesis of all the evidence, in which corroboration of individual testimony is sought and the possible and the probable and the credible carefully weighed.Studied as a whole, rather than in isolated bits and pieces, the historical evidence, from both white and Indian sources, does not substantiate Wounded Knee as a massacre in terms of premeditation or lack of discrimination between combatants and noncombatants. Assuredly it was a terrible, lamentable tragedy.But it seems to me that we should be a mature enough people to view it not in terms of the easy, conventional stereotypes of good guys and bad guys but in terms, rather, of decent, ordinary people caught up in the passions and insanities of an armed conflict that none of them intended or anticipated."