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Press Release

August 24, 2017

Contact: Adam Lynn
Honey Springs Battlefield Historic Site, Oklahoma Historical Society
Office: 918-473-5572

General James G. Blunt Living History Presentation at Honey Springs Battlefield

RENTIESVILLE, Okla. — Honey Springs Battlefield and Visitor Center is proud to announce a special presentation, “General Blunt: From John Brown Abolitionist to the Battle of Honey Springs,” to be held at the battlefield’s new Visitor Center on Saturday, September 9, 2017, at 1 p.m. Outfitted in authentic Civil War-period Union regalia, living historian John Schwarz will portray General James Gilpatrick Blunt, detailing the often overlooked but extremely important contributions Blunt made to the Union abolitionist cause during the Bleeding Kansas and Civil War years. Blunt wished to make the Army of the Frontier an instrument of emancipation and African American and Native empowerment long before it was federal policy. 

John Schwarz has been a living historian since 1991 and has presented and volunteered at Civil War battlefields across the state and nation, including Pea Ridge, Chickamauga, and Gettysburg.

Following the presentation, visitors will have the opportunity of touring the battlefield and learn about key aspects of the engagement and those who fought at Honey Springs. Visitors also will have the unique opportunity of touring the new Visitor Center building, purchase items from the gift shop and learn about the new exhibits that will open to the public within the next few months.

James Gilpatrick Blunt, the only Civil War major general to come out of Kansas, moved from Ohio to Anderson County, Kansas, in 1856. As a neighbor of famed abolitionist John Brown in Kansas during the mid-1850s, Blunt assisted Brown in freeing slaves and fought alongside Brown against Kansas’s proslavery territorial government.

After leading several successful battles against the Confederacy early in the Civil War, Blunt was promoted to the rank of major general of the Army of the Frontier in March of 1863. Blunt surrounded himself with officers who also had followed and fought alongside John Brown in Kansas, and lead a force of 3,000 Union troops to victory over 6,000 Confederate troops under the command of General Douglas H. Cooper on July 17, 1863, at Honey Springs, near present-day Checotah, Okla., just two weeks after the famed battles of Gettysburg and Vicksburg.

The Honey Springs engagement is significant among Civil War battles, as it is believed that nowhere else were there more American Indian and African American soldiers fighting alongside and against one another than at Honey Springs. Blunt’s part in organizing and leading the diverse Army of the Frontier was directly shaped by his experiences during the Bleeding Kansas years.

For more information regarding the presentation and the Honey Springs Battlefield and Visitor Center, please email honeysprings@okhistory.org. Honey Springs Battlefield and Visitor Center is located east of U.S. Highway 69 between Oktaha and Rentiesville.

The 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.


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