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Press Release

April 2, 2024

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

Honey Springs Battlefield to Host Demonstrations With Reproduction Firearms of the Civil War

CHECOTAH, Okla. — The public is invited to Honey Springs Battlefield near Checotah on Saturday, April 13, from 1-3 p.m. for live Civil War-era firearms demonstrations. Seth Goff, historical interpreter at Hunter’s Home in Park Hill, will provide background information and live demonstrations with reproduction firearms that would have been used by soldiers who fought at the Battle of Honey Springs. The cost is only $10 per person. For those planning to attend, we ask that you please check in at the front desk of the Honey Springs Visitor Center first.

During the Civil War, the soldiers who fought at Honey Springs experienced firsthand major technological advances in firearms. Smoothbore muskets, with their inaccuracies and limited range of 50-75 yards, were gradually replaced by rifled muskets, which could fire out to 1000 yards with deadly accuracy. Breach-loading carbines, with early metallic cartridges, greatly increased the firepower of the cavalry beyond that of most infantry.

The Battle of Honey Springs, which took place on July 17, 1863, is the largest Civil War battle to occur in Indian Territory and on Muscogee (Creek) lands. Also remembered as the most ethnically diverse battle in the Civil War, the Battle of Honey Springs was fought by Indigenous, Black, and white soldiers. The tribal nations of the Muscogee, Cherokee, and Seminole divided, joining both the Union and Confederate armies. Of the 9,000 who fought, 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 call 918-617-7125 or email honeysprings@history.ok.gov. 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.

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