The Wounded Knee Massacre, in an unincorporated community in South Dakota, was a destructive battle. There were two conflicts between the United States Government and the Native Americans. The first conflict led to the second conflict, which became an all out battle. .
The first incident started on February 27, 1873, when armed supporters of the American Indian movement seized and held Wounded Knee. The native Americans, now on a reservation, demanded an investigation by the United States government. Federal officers were sent to the site. A conflict began, and gunfire exchanges ended with two Native Americans killed and several people, on both sides, injured. The siege ended seventy days later when the Souix Indians were promised negotiations concerning their grievances would be considered. After one meeting with White House representatives and the promise of a second meeting, the Souix were informed their treaty grievances would be referred to congress. No further meeting took place. This further caused the Indians to distrust the white man. .
The Souix were once a proud tribe. With the coming of the soldiers they found their freedom gone and the buffalo gone. They were confined to reservations where they were dependent on the local Indian Agents for their food. In the late 1880's on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, a Paiute Indian by the name of Wovoka began preaching to the Souix. Wovoka promised the dead would comeback and join the living, and this would allow the Souix to live as they once did. They would have animals to hunt and hides to give them clothing and shelter. They would be strong warriors once again. To bring this change about in a shorter amount of time the Indians were to dance the Ghost Dance. The dancers wore colorful shirts with pictures of eagles and buffaloes. They believed the Ghost Shirts would protect them from the soldier's bullets. This dance spread across the Souix villages in the Dakota reservations.