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Press Release

December 18, 2018

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

New Exhibits on Display at the Honey Springs Battlefield and Visitor Center

CHECOTAH, Okla. — Honey Springs Battlefield and Visitor Center is proud to announce that new temporary exhibits have been constructed inside the Honey Springs Visitor Center. Through artifacts, graphics and narrative, the exhibits tell the rich history of the Battle of Honey Springs. Visitors will learn that on July 17, 1863—just two weeks after the famous Battles of Gettysburg and Vicksburg—a total of 9,000 troops converged on a small farming settlement along the Texas Road in the Muscogee (Creek) Nation called Honey Springs, named after a well-known watering stop in the area. There they battled against one another for their freedom, homes, tribal nations and ways of life. These troops, historians believe, represented the most diverse set of individuals and cultures to fight in any battle of the Civil War.

American Indians fought for both the Union and the Confederacy. For the Union, American Indians from the Creek, Cherokee, Seminole, Osage, Kickapoo, Delaware, Seneca and Quapaw Nations fought for the First, Second and Third Indian Home Guards. For the Confederacy, American Indians from the Creek, Cherokee, Seminole, Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations fought for the Indian Brigade. Also for the Union, the First Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Colored) fought. Many of the men fighting at Honey Springs for the First Kansas Volunteers were former slaves, and the first African Americans ever to fight in the Civil War for the Union Army. There were additional units representing Texas for the Confederacy and Colorado, Kansas and Wisconsin for the Union. The Battle of Honey Springs, the largest Civil War conflict fought in Indian Territory, resulted in a victory for the North and Union control of the territory for the remainder of the war. It allowed Union forces to control the Texas Road and Arkansas River, and paved the way for Union troops to take over Fort Smith later in 1863.

Visitors can tour the battlefield to learn about key aspects of the engagement and those who fought at Honey Springs. They also have the opportunity to purchase items from the gift shop and learn about the upcoming permanent exhibits and programs. For more information regarding the temporary exhibits and 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 a hill within 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 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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