June 16, 2023
Special Presentation by Art T. Burton Planned at Honey Springs Battlefield
CHECOTAH, Okla. — Honey Springs Battlefield will host a special presentation about the African American soldiers who fought for the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry Regiment and the Native Home Guard Regiments at the Battle of Honey Springs. The presentation will take place on Sunday, June 25, at 3 p.m. inside the Honey Springs Visitor Center.
Retired professor and award-winning author Art T. Burton will discuss the relationship of African Americans and Native Americans in the Indian Territory during the Civil War for combatants and non-combatants. Honey Springs was the most important Civil War battle in pre-state Oklahoma. Professor Burton will discuss what made the engagement unique and important to Oklahoma and Southwest history.
Burton specializes in the research of Black Americans in the Wild West and how they shaped history. He was a history professor at Prairie State College and South Suburban College for 38 years until his retirement in 2015. He also worked as an administrator of African American Student Affairs for Benedictine University, Loyola University and Columbia College, all in Chicago. As a Wild West historian, his career has led him to participate on panels, appear in documentaries for The History Channel and give presentations across the nation.
Burton is the author of “Black, Buckskin, and Blue: African American Scouts and Soldiers on the Western Frontier,” written in 1999, which was a first of its kind. Burton has since written two biographical works: “Black Gun, Silver Star: The Life and Legend of Frontier Marshal Bass Reeves” (2008) and “Cherokee Bill: Black Cowboy—Indian Outlaw” (2020). In his most recent book, Burton gives great detail on how a veteran of the 1st Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Deputy US Marshal Ike Rogers, captured the notorious Indian Territory outlaw Cherokee Bill. His work has brought him countless awards and recognitions, including earning a Living Legend Award from the Bare Bones Film Festival in Muskogee in 2015.
Honey Springs Battlefield is located east of US Highway 69 between Oktaha and Rentiesville. The Visitor Center is located on a hill near 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 and Visitor Center 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.
Editor’s Note: Photos of Honey Springs Battlefield and Visitor Center are available upon request.