A CREEK CALLED WOUNDED KNEE by Douglas C. Jones

A CREEK CALLED WOUNDED KNEE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The accent in this version of the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre is on the yellow journalists inflating the local tensions for the readers back home and setting up the ignorant recruits of the Seventh Cavalry for an explosion of temper. Who mused the massacre, the Lakota Sioux who did not want to give up their rifles--or the Seventh Cavalry, which was still smarting from the defeat at Little Big Horn many years earlier? During the week leading up to the fight at the little trading post at Wounded Knee, the Lakota fear that rumors they are hearing from the soldier encampment may be true. Should the Lakota flee to their Stronghold, or settle unhappily and rifleless at the Pine Ridge Reservation? The Seventh has arrived by train to round them up, and with the soldiers have arrived reporters by the dozens, each eager to file bloodier rumors than his colleague. The air swims with treachery. The leading figures in the fiasco are Talks With Horses, the hotblooded young second-in-command to dying Big Foot, who wants peace; Colonel Forsyth, the regimental commander now leading troops for the first time against Indians; Captain Wallace, a gentle officer with Southern manners; and the reporters Quinton Tapp and widow Thelma Hanson Duncan, both of whom are incompetent writers. Meanwhile, the religion of the Ghost Dance has revived among the Sioux: they await their Messiah and wear ghost shirts believed to repel bullets. Suddenly, an incidental skirmish over a rifle explodes into a bloodbath as the soldiers let loose with their machine-cannons. A familiar story refurbished with rich detail and that fierce anti-newshound angle.

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1978
Publisher: Scribners