Cabin Creek

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Cabin Creek

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Union and Confederate troops with Indian regiments frequently skirmished on the eastern plains of the territory for control of rivers and forts. In early July 1863, Colonel James M. Williams led a Union supply train escorted by a handful of infantry and cavalry regiments on the Texas Road from Fort Scott, Kansas, to Fort Gibson in Indian Territory. Williams' force included Indian Home Guard units as well as his own unit, the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry. As he approached the crossing of Cabin Creek, midway between Tulsa and the Arkansas border, he learned from captured Rebel soldiers that Confederate Cherokee Indian Col. Stan Watie intended to assault him there. The water level at Cabin Creek was high, preventing a crossing at first, but when it had receded enough, Williams attacked. His troopers drove the Confederates off with artillery fire and two cavalry charges. Watie's Confederates fell back and fled the battlefield. The supply train continued to Fort Gibson, making it possible for Union forces to maintain their presence in Indian territory and take the offensive that resulted in victory at Honey Springs later in July and the fall of Fort Smith, Arkansas in September. The battle was the first in which African-American troops fought side-by-side with their white and Indian comrades.

Battle Facts

Result

Union Victory
COMMANDERS
Forces Engaged

Union

unknown

Confederate

1,700
Total Estimated Casualties
88

Union

23

Confederate

65