By John Vance Lauderdale, Jerry Green

The Wounded Knee bloodbath of December 29, 1890, identified to U.S. army historians because the final conflict in "the Indian Wars," used to be actually one other tragic occasion in a bigger trend of conquest, destruction, killing, and damaged gives you that proceed to this present day.      On a chilly winter's morning greater than a century in the past, the U.S. 7th Cavalry attacked and killed greater than 260 Lakota males, ladies, and kids at Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota. within the aftermath, the damaged, twisted our bodies of the Lakota humans have been quickly coated through a blanket of snow, as a snow fall swept throughout the geographical region. a couple of days later, veteran military health professional John Vance Lauderdale arrived for accountability on the within reach Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. surprised through what he encountered, he wrote quite a few letters to his closest family detailing the occasions, aftermath, and lifestyle at the Reservation below army profession. He additionally handled the wounded, either Cavalry infantrymen and Lakota civilians. What distinguishes After Wounded Knee from the big physique of literature already on hand at the bloodbath is Lauderdale's frank value determinations of army lifestyles and a private statement of the tragedy, untainted via self-serving memory or decorated newspaper and political studies. His experience of frustration and outrage towards the army command, specially about the strategies used opposed to the Lakota, is vividly obvious during this intimate view of Lauderdale's lifestyles. His correspondence presents new perception right into a generic topic and was once written on the top of the cultural fight among the U.S. and Lakota humans. Jerry Green's cautious enhancing of this enormous assortment, a part of the toilet Vance Lauderdale Papers within the Western Americana assortment in Yale University's Beinecke Library, clarifies Lauderdale's studies on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

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Lauderdale was accused of not paying a debt that he felt was unjust. His commanding officer, Colonel M. A. Cochrane, was preparing to court-martial him, but Capt. Frank D. Baldwin, who would soon become his commanding officer, intervened on Lauderdale's behalf and had him reinstated. Baldwin and Lauderdale became lifelong friends, as did their families. Lauderdale also met and befriended other officers he encountered again at Pine Ridge in the winter of 1891. In July 1888, he was appointed surgeon with the rank of major.

20 By 1888 the organization of this new hospital corps was nearly complete. Only a small number of vacancies remained to be filled. The corps was now able to participate in field maneuvers with regular troops, although the only routine military work required of the medical department was hospital corps drill. In this drill, certain men of the line regiments were added to serve as company litter bearers. The drill consisted of Page 17 marching with and without litters, dressing wounds, picking up and carrying patients, and loading ambulances.

Natural history and geology became his ardent pastimes, interests that he would follow for the rest of his life. In August 1855 Lauderdale moved to Cleveland, Ohio, to work in yet another drugstore. Here his interest in geology blossomed, as nearby coal fields provided many opportunities to explore for fossils. In February 1857 the natural scientist in him emerged, when he was invited to join the Williams College expedition to the Florida Keys. A loan from his father enabled him to join the expedition from February through April.

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