It was the 29th day of the Moon of Popping Trees (December) in 1890. Peace was sleeping within the warm winter wind under the murderous eyes of Gatling and Hotchkiss guns, dug into the ridges surrounding the Lakota encampment. Chief Spotted Elk ("Bigfoot" was the name soldiers gave him), flying the flag of truce within his encampment, was dying from pneumonia. <br><br>His people were dying from fear of the white soldiers who had come to take revenge for the defeat of their unit, the 7th Cavalry, at Little Bighorn in The Moon When the Chokecherries are Ripe (June) in 1876. All the soldiers needed was the smallest excuse to begin the massacre.<br><br>A single shot, according to a reporter on the scene, was fired from the soldiers, and with that, the smallest excuse was manufactured. When the rain of ammunition ceased, over 300 Lakota people lay dead from gunfire, cannon fire, or manual butchering within the encampment and within adjacent ravines up to two miles away. <br><br>The dead were Lakota men who had been disarmed before the weapons fire began, women, many with babes in arms or waiting to be born, and children The soldiers walked away from their crime against humanity and left the dead where they lay. That night, the sky cried snow and the warm winter wind of peace was supplanted by the cold winter wind of grief. For four days, the dead laid where they were, frozen into grotesque shapes of lifelessness. <br><br>Finally, the soldiers came and loaded the dead like cordwood in wagons, and hauled their loads to hastily dug mass graves, where the dead were thrown in - the bodies of men, women, and children whose spirits walked the encampment and ravines, wailing. <br><br>The mass graves were filled and the soldiers left. Twenty-seven Congressional Medals of Honor [sic] for "bravery" were awarded to the soldiers who participated in that heinous murder for their parts in fighting the allegedly hostile "war parties" attacking them that day.<br><br>The spirits of the slain continue their walking and wailing. Red Willow in great profusion, grown from the blood of all those who fell along the banks of the creek that day, still grows thickly along Wounded Knee Creek. Peace never again slept within the winds that blew along Wounded Knee Creek.<br><br><br>