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Press Release

March 6, 2018

Contact: Adam Lynn
Honey Springs Battlefield and Visitor Center, Oklahoma Historical Society
Office: 918-473-5572

Presentation on the First Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment Rescheduled for Saturday, March 10

RENTIESVILLE, Okla. — Historical interpreter Omar Reed’s presentation about the First Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment has been rescheduled for this Saturday, March 10, at 1 p.m. at the Honey Springs Battlefield and Visitor Center. The original February 24 presentation was postponed due to impassable roads from flooding. Reed, historical interpreter from Fort Gibson Historic Site, will talk about the importance of the famed First Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment that fought bravely at the Battle of Honey Springs on July 17, 1863. The program is free to the public, but donations are welcome.

As it was officially designated at the time of the battle, the First Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Colored) was one of the first African American units organized in the Union Army. Members were recruited in August of 1862 under the authority of Kansas Senator, later General, James Lane, but without the permission of President Abraham Lincoln.

These soldiers were well-trained and equipped. In October 1862 they were attacked by Confederate forces near Butler, Missouri, in the Battle of Island Mound, making them the first African American Union regiment to shed blood in action against the enemy during the Civil War. The unit also saw action at Cabin Creek, Indian Territory, before arriving at Honey Springs. They fought bravely at Honey Springs and played a large role in the Union’s victory.

After the presentation, visitors will have the opportunity to tour the battlefield and learn about key aspects of the engagement and those who fought at Honey Springs. Visitors also can tour the new Visitor Center, purchase items from the gift shop, and learn about the new exhibits that will open in the near future.

For more information regarding the presentation and the Honey Springs Battlefield and Visitor Center, please email honeysprings@okhistory.org or alynn@okhistory.org, or call 918-473-5572. Honey Springs Battlefield and Visitor Center is located east of U.S. Highway 69 between Oktaha and Rentiesville. The Visitor Center is located on the northeast corner of the intersection of East 1030 Road and 11th Street, diagonal from the Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame.

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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