Political map of North America & the Caribbean 29 December 1890 (Wounded Knee Massacre): By 1890, American Indian resistance in the western United States (American Indian Wars) had been crushed and settlers and railways had closed the frontier. In this environment of despair, the apocalyptic Ghost Dance religion spread quickly among Indian communities from California to Oklahoma, alarming white authorities. When, in December, 500 US Cavalry intercepted a group of 350 Lakota (Lakota people), mostly Ghost Dance practitioners, in South Dakota, tensions quickly led to a one-sided battle at Wounded Knee (Wounded Knee massacre). This massacre was the last major conflict of the Indian Wars.