Pine Ridge Military Campaign


Sitting Bull, D.F. Barry, 1885

Sitting Bull, by D.F. Barry, 1885.

The Pine Ridge Military Campaign was an action by the United States Military against the Lakota Sioux that took place from November 1890 through January 1891 as part of the Sioux Wars.

Accumulated grievances, aggravated by teachings of an Indian prophet named Wovoka, who claimed to be the Messiah, brought about this last major conflict with the Sioux. General Nelson Miles, the commander of the Department of the Missouri, responded to a Department of Interior request to check the rising ferment by ordering apprehension of the great Sioux leader, Sitting Bull, who was killed during the attempted arrest at Standing Rock Agency on December 15, 1890.

Meanwhile, large numbers of Sioux had been assembling in the Bad Lands, and a serious clash took place at Wounded Knee Creek on December 29, 1890, between Colonel James W. Forsyth’s 7th Cavalry and Chief Big Foot’s band with considerable losses on both sides. Almost half the infantry and cavalry of the Regular Army were concentrated in the area and in January 1891 the warriors were disarmed and persuaded to return peaceably to their reservations.


Wounded Knee Massacre

Wounded Knee Massacre

Compiled and edited by Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated July 2020.

Source: U.S. Army Center of Military History

Also See:

Wounded Knee Massacre

Battles and Massacres of the Indian Wars

Indian War List and Timeline

Indian Wars

Three Indian Campaigns

Indian Wars of the Frontier West by Emerson Hough