Author Rex Allen Smith's Account of the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre

Last Updated by Brian Gevik on

Any examination of South Dakota history must include some consideration of what happened between a band of Lakota people and the U.S. Army at Wounded Knee Creek near the end of the 19th century. Some scholars and book reviewers have cited South Dakota historian and author Rex Allen Smith's book "The Moon of Popping Trees" as one of the clearer and more objective accounts of the incident.

rex allen smith imageRex Allen Smith at Wounded KneeHistorical Footprints

Rex Allen Smith Image 02Rex Allen SmithHistorical Footprints

On Nov. 13, 1990, Smith visited the Wounded Knee site with multi-media producer Wayne Paanenen and recorded this audio remembrance. (Just before this clip begins, Smith establishes that Chief Bigfoot's band of about 350 Lakota have been forced into an encampment with units of the U.S. Army's 7th Cavalry.)

 
Map of the Wounded Knee incident siteWounded Knee siteFacts on File database
Map Image Courtesy: "Wounded Knee Massacre." Waldman, Carl. Atlas of the North American Indian, Third Edition. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2009. Americ
 
 

Rex Allen Smith was born near Rapid City in 1921. He died at Box Elder in 2013.

Learn more about the events preceding and subsequent to the 1891 tragedy at Wounded Knee in this SDPB "Dakota Pathways" production, "A Dark Day."

 

SDPB Dakota Pathways SDPB documentary segment about the events surrounding the Wounded Knee Massacre.

Many historical images of Wounded Knee can be viewed in the South Dakota State Historical Society's Digital Archives.

See a gallery of Wounded Knee landscape images from 1990 and 2014 on Flickr.

 

 

 

 

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