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The Two Sides of the Battle of Wounded Knee

            In nearly every historical event, there are two or more points of view regarding the details of the incident. In the Battle of Wounded Knee, a fight between American soldiers and Sioux Indians ensued; each side of the battle firmly believing they were in the right. right. The two narratives, "Black Elk Speaks," written by Black Elk, and "The Indian Frontier," written by an Richard Utley, explain their interpretation of the events of the battle, and because of the vast differences in both stories, the reader is able to see the distinct point of view of both parties. .
             Black Elk, the narrator of "Black Elk Speaks," presents a firsthand account of the events having personally been a part of the battle. When he received word of the first shooting, he mounted his horse and quickly began riding to the scene. He described what he witnessed as "cavalry men were riding along the gulch and shooting into it, where the women and children were"" (Black Elk p. 196). With their helpless people under attack, the Native Americans felt as if they were the victims, their only option was to take a charge. They chased after the soldiers as they retreated and they came across the horrible sight of many dead women, children, and babies, which urged Black Elk to seek revenge. Dog Chief, who witnessed how the conflict started, described the event as an accidental shooting, which caused chaos between the soldiers and Native Americans. The next morning a war party went out and Black Elk took a gun this time saying, "after what I had seen over there, I wanted revenge, I wanted to kill"" (Black Elk p. 203). After a few days of battle, they were forced to surrender because of the harsh winter. Looking back at the battle, Black Elk claims his peoples "beautiful dream " had died there" (Black Elk p. 207).
             From the soldiers' point of view (as told my Robert Utley years after the occurrence), white men began to feel threatened by this new "Ghost Dance"" the Native Americans had recently started practicing.

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