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Posts from the ‘Trans-MIssissippi Issues’ Category

They Fought Like Veterans: Civil War in Indian Territory 2 by Michael Manning

An Excerpt from the current issue: Volume 31, #2

They Fought Like Veterans

The Civil War in Indian Territory:
September 1863 – June 1865

Michael J. Manning


The brutality of the Civil War in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) tore apart the Five Civilized Tribes as they divided their loyalties between the United States and the Confederacy. The course of the war in the region began with the secession of the states of Arkansas and Texas, the alignment of the Indian Nations with the Southern Confederacy, and the evacuation of Fort Smith, Arkansas, and Indian Territory by the United States Army. Two Union expeditions into the Indian nations in 1862 and 1863 finally led to the reoccupation of Indian Territory north of the Arkansas River, and the Confederates’ evacuation of Fort Smith. The following narrative includes a description of the creation of Indian Territory and a recap of events in the early years of the Civil War, then chronicles the Civil War in Indian Territory from the Confederacy’s loss of Fort Smith on September 1, 1863, through the final surrender in 1865.

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New Issue Teaser

The Fort Smith Council of 1865

Submitted by Fort Smith National Historic Site
Lisa C. Frost, Superintendent

In September 1865, the U. S. Commissioner of Indian Affairs met with representatives of 13 Indian nations in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The purpose of this historic meeting, known as the Fort Smith Council, was to reestablish formal relations between the tribes and the United States Government in the aftermath of the Civil War. While many of the tribes had signed formal treaties with the Confederacy at the outbreak of the war, they had also internally split into factions along Union or Confederate lines. Indian delegates from the following nations were present at the council meeting: Caddo, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Comanche, Creek, Osage, Quapaw, Seminole, Seneca, Shawnee, Wichita and Wyandotte.

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