Indian Territory in the American Civil War

Map of the Confederate States with the Arizona Territory and allied tribes (in present-day Oklahoma)

During the American Civil War, most of what is now the U.S. state of Oklahoma was designated as the Indian Territory. It served as an unorganized region that had been set aside specifically for Native American tribes and was occupied mostly by tribes which had been removed from their ancestral lands in the Southeastern United States following the Indian Removal Act of 1830. As part of the Trans-Mississippi Theater, the Indian Territory was the scene of numerous skirmishes and seven officially recognized battles[1] involving both Native American units allied with the Confederate States of America and Native Americans loyal to the United States government, as well as other Union and Confederate troops.

A total of at least 7,860 Native Americans from the Indian Territory participated in the Confederate Army, as both officers and enlisted men;[2] most came from the Five Civilized Tribes: the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole nations.[3] The Union organized several regiments of the Indian Home Guard to serve in the Indian Territory and occasionally in adjacent areas of Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas.[4]

  1. ^ "Civil War Sites in Oklahoma". National Park Service. Retrieved August 10, 2008.
  2. ^ American Civil War Resource Database
  3. ^ Confer, Clarissa. The Cherokee Nation in the Civil War, Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 2007, pg. 4
  4. ^ Tom Franzmann. "Indian Home Guard." Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History & Culture