West River Eagle


In response to our story last week about Connecticut-based Filmcreek Productions’ trip to Eagle Butte, founder and Executive Producer Stephen Curran provided the following clarifications:

“The four Hotchkiss guns (used at the Wounded Knee Massacre against the Lakota) didn’t have five barrels and fire 43 rounds per minute. That’s an inaccuracy that has been perpetuated through the years, even by noted historians. The Hotchkiss guns used at Wounded Knee were single barrel, breach loading, 2-pounder mountain guns that fired approximately between 4-6 rounds per minute depending on the efficiency of the gun crew. Even with firing fewer rounds per minute however, their effectiveness was brutal, since they fired both exploding shells and canister, both used at Wounded Knee. 

“The Medal of Honor (awarded to soldiers who perpetrated the slaughter at Wounded Knee) is the highest military honor bestowed in the United States today, but in 1890, it was much different. The MOH then was the only actual medal awarded and the standard was much lower: Medals of Honor will be awarded, by the President, to officers or enlisted men who have distinguished themselves in action. There was nothing about valor, gallantry, endangering your life, etc. There were four ways a commander could reward a soldier, Honorable Mention in published orders, Certificates of Merit for enlisted personnel, Brevet Promotions for officers, and the Medal of Honor for both. It even looked different. I bring this up because I think it’s important to make the distinction. …

“Now, for the REALLY important note. We brought CONNECTICUT maple syrup for those who attended, not Vermont maple syrup! <smiling emoji> We’re very proud of our syrup. A local farm poured it for us right before we left for South Dakota.”

We at the West River Eagle aim for 100% accuracy in our reporting and are always thankful when a reader lets us know that we didn’t quite reach that goal. Thank you, Stephen Curran.

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