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Battle of Honey Springs Featured

Written by  Thursday, 31 October 2019 09:18
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By Teresa Black Bradway
Oklahoma Historical Society Member


A Civil War battle in which members of several Oklahoma tribes fought will be reenacted Saturday and Sunday near Checotah.

The Battle of Honey Springs will be at 1 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

The Civil War camps come to life on Friday, November 1, Education Day. School children, home-schoolers and the general public visit the Union and Confederate camps, talk with soldiers and civilian living historians and see demonstrations of military drills, music, cooking, and uniforms the Indian Territories during the war.

Soldiers, women and children cook, sleep and live in canvas tents for the weekend, much of their clothing and gear made as 1860’s replicas. They may pass the time with banjos, singing or playing cards.

On Saturday and Sunday, camps open at 10 am. Union and Confederate forces drill and form up for battle. Presenters will discuss special topics before the battle. The cost for Saturday and Sunday is $5 for adults. Children 12 and under are admitted free.

Tribal reenactors have portrayed Native soldiers in the 1863 battle. Union forces included regiments of the Indian Home Guard.

Confederates included the First Choctaw and Chickasaw Regiment of Mounted Rifles, the First and Second Cherokee Mounted Rifles, and the First and Second Creek Mounted Rifles.

Reenactors have come from Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and other states to take part.

Black reenactors have portrayed the First Kansas Colored Infantry which had a key role in the battle.

Canons, horsemen in cavalry duels and black-powder muskets are used in the reenactments.

The Battle of Honey Springs was the largest military clash ever in Oklahoma. Federals took control of the Indian Territory north of the Arkansas River. Federals reported twenty-eight hundred troops, and Southern forces are estimated between thirty-four hundred and six thousand.

Visitors can walk trails through the Honey Springs historic sites and see where the actual soldiers camped and fought.

Information from the Visitor Center is at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or call 918-473-5572. The Visitor Center is near the Blues Hall of Fame in Rentiesville.

The Honey Springs Battlefield Historic Site, located east of U.S. Highway 69 between Oktaha and Rentiesville, is administered by the Oklahoma Historical Society.


The site was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2013.


David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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