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Press Release

October 13, 2022

Contact: Adam Lynn
Honey Springs Battlefield, Oklahoma Historical Society
Office: 918-617-7125

Honey Springs Visitor Center Grand Opening November 5

CHECOTAH, Okla. — Honey Springs Battlefield is excited to celebrate the grand opening of all permanent exhibits inside the visitor center near Checotah on Saturday, November 5, beginning at 11 a.m.

Visitors will have the opportunity to experience an immersive, 3-D theatrical video performance bringing to life the Battle of Honey Springs. Additionally, guests can explore the new east gallery exhibit hall featuring 14 audio players with recordings from first-hand, written accounts of soldiers who fought at the Battle of Honey Springs, as well as exhibits highlighting firearms, ammunition and artillery used in the battle. There also will be outdoor education stations surrounding the visitor center with living history demonstrations of Civil War military drills, artillery practices and civilian life throughout the day. A ribbon cutting and guest speakers will commemorate the special day.

“This new, interactive exhibit at the Honey Springs Visitor Center will bring the battle to life in a way that is not only educational, but impactful,” said Trait Thompson, executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society. “This battle was the most important of the Civil War in Indian Territory and it deserves the compelling rendition we now have in place. I’m thankful for our incredible Oklahoma Historical Society staff members from Honey Springs and other sites who contributed their talents to this incredible new exhibit.”

The Battle of Honey Springs was the largest of approximately 107 documented Civil War military engagements in present-day Oklahoma. The engagement took place on July 17, 1863, just two weeks after the famous Battles of Gettysburg and Vicksburg. Approximately 9,000 Union and Confederate troops, mostly American Indians and African Americans, were involved in the Battle of Honey Springs. Of those, approximately 200 total casualties were suffered. After a decisive Union victory, Confederates lost control of Indian Territory north of the Arkansas River. The Union victory also ensured Federal control of Fort Gibson in Indian Territory and Fort Smith in Arkansas.

For more information regarding the grand opening and Honey Springs Battlefield, please email honeysprings@history.ok.gov or adam.lynn@history.ok.gov, or call 918-617-7125. Honey Springs Battlefield is located east of U.S. Highway 69 between Oktaha and Rentiesville. The visitor center is located on a hill in close proximity to the Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame in Rentiesville. Take the second left after reaching the Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame Museum (driving from the west).

Honey Springs Battlefield is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.


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