Entries - Time Period: Civil War through Reconstruction (1861 - 1874) - Starting with I

Indian Soldiers (Civil War)

As states began to secede from the Union and form the Confederacy, the Native American tribal nations in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) closely watched the growing conflict. In January 1861, Arkansas’s governor, Henry M. Rector, wrote Cherokee chief John Ross, asking the Cherokee Nation to support the Confederacy. Rector felt that if the Cherokee supported the Confederacy, then the rest of the tribal nations would follow. Ross replied to Rector that the Cherokee would remain neutral. All the Indian nations expressed desires to remain neutral, but soon they were forced to review their decisions and choose sides in the Civil War. Their decisions brought them to fighting on Arkansas soil, sometimes on different sides of the conflict. Albert Pike was …