The first took shape in decades past when I was a kid and found expression when I visited the monument to the massacre of Indians at Wounded Knee while I was at motorcycle rally at Sturgis, South Dakota. As I rode to Maine and back to Florida the question came to me: was there a connection between Custer’s (7th Cav) last stand in 1876 and and the massacre of Wounded Knew in 1890 by the 7th Cav.
The enormity of the casualties was some 268 dead and 56 injured on the part of the 7th Cav. Entire companies of the 7th Cav were totally wiped out. My sense is that many of these were men were battle tested in the Civil war as was Gen Custer.
Were as the 7th Cav was largely reconstituted after the battle of the Little Big Horn, the defeat was burned into the hearts, minds and mystique of the 7th Cav. Then 14 years later came the massacre of Wounded Knee. My own sense as I ride the highways and byways of the nation coupled with 24 years of military service in the marines and army is that the ghost of Little Big Horn permeated the 7th Cav. There was the gut wrenching fear of it being replicated in the hearts of men who had never known the ravages of the civil war and most certainly did not want a similar fate to fall on them.
Again, don’t know why but the DVD documentary The House I Live In was the final impetus that linked the two incidents in my mind. However, the civil war, Indian wars and war on drugs is not about anything other than power of one group over another. The sad part is there have always been and remain are ways to live with tranquility and meaningful lives within the currents of time rather than attempting to subjugate them for an illusion of prosperity and security.