Guide Civil War in the Indian Territory

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During the Civil War, Native-American tribes in the Indian territory of modern-day Oklahoma fought for both sides. Union and Confederate troops with Indian units frequently skirmished on the eastern plains of the territory for control of river crossings and forts.
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We are all Americans - Native Americans in the Civil War | City of Alexandria, VA

Enter your email address below to sign up to our General newsletter for updates from Osprey Publishing, Osprey Games and our parent company Bloomsbury. Qty: Add to Basket. About this Product. Both the Union and the Confederacy raised Native American units to contest this ground, and tribes were divided against one another and amongst themselves. Federal and Confederate cavalry also struck into the Territory from Kansas and Texas; and the irregular marauders who raided the area such as Kansas Red Legs and Quantrill's Raiders earned notoriety.

This fascinating account of the groups which fought in the Territory is richly illustrated with rare early photos, and detailed color reconstructions.


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Biographical Note. This violation of treaty terms alienated many Native Americans, as did the decision to transfer many of the Southern troops protecting the area to east of the Mississippi. The U. The Northern troops won two easy victories and added to their ranks many Cherokee originally recruited by Chief Ross for the Confederacy. When this army withdrew in late summer, the territory had neither Union nor Confederate troops to keep order.

Some Native Americans on both sides used this opportunity to settle scores by burning homes, destroying crops, slaughtering livestock, and killing their enemies. By President Lincoln and his military leaders had decided on a "Grand Strategy" that tried to "turn back the Rebels at every opportunity.

Detachments of 2nd Kansas Cavalry and 79th U. S. Colored Infantry

The Army of the Frontier included not just white troops, but a large number of Native Americans and the 1st Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment Colored , a regiment recruited from ex-slaves. It was the first African-American regiment organized, and the fourth to be mustered into Federal service. Douglas H. Cooper, commander of the Confederate forces in the area, resolved to regain strategically located Fort Gibson.

Native Americans, including Creek, Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Choctaw, made up the majority of his troops.

Battle of Honey Springs - July 17, 1863 (American Civil War)

Cooper's men also included a regiment of Texans who brought leg-irons and hand-cuffs, since they expected to capture and return to slavery any African Americans who lived through the battle. Their base was at Honey Springs, named after the natural water supply that for years had made it a stop for travelers.

Cooper organized his forces and waited for reinforcements to arrive from Fort Smith in Arkansas. Winner of the Oklahoma Book Award for nonfiction. Scholars interested in the American Civil War, Indigenous military history, or the nineteenth-century history of the Five Nations will find the text especially useful.

Indian Territory in the American Civil War

Blending federal documents, traditional archives, secondary sources, and oral histories, When the Wolf Came is highly recommended to students of the Civil War, the American South, American Indians, and federal Indian policy. Occupying the intersection between the history of the Civil War and of the American West, it deserves careful reading by military historians interested in irregular warfare and students of the history of the United States generally and Oklahoma in particular. It focuses most particularly on the Trans-Mississippi theater, which consisted of Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, most of Louisiana west of the Mississippi River , Indian Territory modern day Oklahoma , and Arizona Territory two-fifths of modern day Arizona and New Mexico but encompasses adjacent states, such as Kansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi, that directly influenced the Trans-Mississippi war.

It is a wide swath, to be sure, but one too often ignored by historians and, consequently, too little understood and appreciated. Topically, the series embraces all aspects of the wartime story.


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