John with a few of the Oklahoma Daughters of Union Veterans.
John enjoyed a great time with the fine ladies of the Oklahoma Daughters of Union Veterans Saturday at the Oklahoma History Center in OKC. He spoke on "The Civil War in Indian Territory," followed by a delightful group discussion that lasted nearly an hour.
The War Between the States was an epochal event in Indian Territory/present-day Oklahoma. Legendary figures such as Cherokee Chief and guerrilla genius Stand Watie (the only Native general on either side and the last Confederate general to surrender) and Union General James Blunt (a brilliant strategist and tactician, though a dentist in peacetime) rose to fame. African-American ex-slaves, Indian warriors from many tribes, and white soldiers from Texas and numerous other states left a distinguished heritage of bravery as they fought for their causes and beliefs.
African-American soldiers fighting for the Union at the pivotal 1863 Battle of Honey Springs in eastern Indian Territory. Tens of thousands of black men fought for the North and thousands of others for the Confederacy in the War Between the States.
The suffering was great, especially among both the pro-Confederate and pro-Federal civilian populations. Proportionately, more "Oklahomans" perished during the 1861-1865 conflict than from any other event in state, territorial, or pre-territorial history.
We will feature a more expansive look at the Civil War in Indian Territory soon!