Emma Cornelia Sickels – Heroine of Pine Ridge or Self-Promoter

Army at Wounded Knee

Little Wound’s face grew black.  I could see the men tighten their Grasp upon their knives, and knew that my life was in the balance.

Breaking from my general theme of this site, I have chosen to write about an individual who was not present at Wounded Knee, was not a soldier, and was not in the employ of the government.  Hours of research sometimes are rewarded with a first hand account of a significant event that has seemingly gone unnoticed by other historians.   Lieutenant John Kinzie’s account of Wounded Knee was one such example.  The account of Emma Cornelia Sickels, a thirty-six-year-old native of Massachusetts, appears to be another.

While researching individuals detailed in a compilation of Omaha Bee articles that I am preparing for publication, I came across references to Emma Sickels.  The article was from January 1896 and detailed that Miss Sickels of Chicago was awarded a gold medal from…

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