Honey Springs Battlefield

 


 

Battlefield statistics

Type

State battlefield

Markers

1

Monuments

5

Cannon

0

 


The Battle-

(July 17th, 1863)

 

        The Battle of Honey Springs was the greatest battle fought in Indian Territory during the Civil War.  The July 17th, 1863 battle was the climax of a Federal and Confederate campaign to take control of the Indian Territory of modern Oklahoma.  The battle pitted C.S. General Douglas Cooper and his 6,000 Texans and allied Indian soldiers against U.S. General James Blunt and his 3,000 Union troops, including the famed 1st Kansas Colored Infantry, the all-black regiment which had so valiantly defeated the Confederates three weeks earlier at Cabin Creek.  
        As the battle began earlier in the morning, The Union-allied Indian troops fooled the Texans into believing they were in full retreat- the Texans fell for the trap and ran directly into the heavy musket fire of the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry.  Seeing that the battle was nearing an end, C.S. General Cooper ordered a controlled retreat back south to the Confederate depot.  The Union troops followed the Confederates for over a mile, but were unable to overwhelm them.  The exhausted northern soldiers ended the attack, and the Confederate army retreated from the field; defeated, but intact.  This important battle was the largest in which Indian troops fought in, both for the Confederates and the Federals.

 

The Battlefield-

 

Honey Springs Battlefield is located in Eastern Oklahoma, in the town of Rentiesville, off of Interstate 40. Follow signs to battlefield.

        Honey Springs Battlefield Park, administered by the Oklahoma State Historical Society,  commemorates the main fighting of the battle on and near the Elk Creek.  Near the small parking lot is a covered informatory panel which explains the battle, and near it are 5 monuments erected by various interest groups to honor the different soldiers who fought at the battle: one monument honors the "Five Civilized Tribes," or those Indian tribes who chose to fight for the Union; other monuments honor the colored soldiers and Texas troops who fought in the battle.  Beyond the panel and monuments are unmarked fields and prairies which played a significant role in the battle.  Plans to further develop the battlefield and build a visitor's center are in place. 

 

Picture Gallery-

 

honeyspring1.jpg (28040 bytes)           honeyspring2.jpg (32448 bytes)           honeyspring3.jpg (27195 bytes)


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