In compliance with the census law, efforts were made to obtain the names, service, and organizations of surviving soldiers of the War of the Rebellion, or the names of the widows of the same. At the breaking out of the rebellion The Five Civilized Tribes entered into treaties with the Confederate States, and it was claimed they forfeited treaty rights with the United States. It was difficult to obtain information on any of these points. Ex-soldiers were reluctant to answer and widows refused. Some years ago in Indian Territory there was a good deal of trouble over matters connected with the bounty and pay of some of the Indian soldiers who served in the Union army. It was the subject of congressional investigation and music; the Indian ex-soldiers cautious afterward as to questions they answered, or signatures to papers. This cause, added to the natural caution of the Indian as to the purpose or intentions of the white men, resulted in the enrollment of but few Indian soldiers on the special schedules.
The archives of the War Department show the number of men and organizations raised in the Indian Territory among The Five Civilized Tribes of Indians for the Union and Confederate States armies during the late war to have comprised three regiments of Indian home guards in the service of the United States during the date war, viz:
First regiment, strength during service 1,848
Second regiment, strength during service 1,901
Third regiment, strength during service 1,489
and some 20 organizations in the Confederate States army, the particulars of which are Oven in the letters in the appended note.1
The deaths among these from all causes, killed wounded, or diseased, was 1,018.
The Indian brigade in the Union army was engaged in 28 battles or affairs, besides many skirmishes.
In a report from the Quartermaster General’s office, called “The Roll of Honor”, issued in 1884, under the title, “The National Cemetery at Fort Gibson”, the number of burials is given at 2,427, of which but 215 are marked as known and 2,212 unknown. Of the 215 marked as known about 150 are of Indian soldiers of the Indian Union regiments.2
The letters received from the War Department in reply to a. request, for a, verification of the number of men and the organizations raised among these Indians were as follows:
War Department, Adjutant General’s Office,
Washington, February 16, 1899.
In answer to your favor of the 14th, instant it gives me pleasure to submit a list of Indian organizations that served in the Confederate slates army, viz:
First Cherokee Cavalry Battalion, Major Benj. W. Meyer.
First Cherokee Cavalry Battalion, Major J. M. Bryan.
First Cherokee Mounted Rifles (also called Second. See Drew’s Cherokee Mounted Rifles). First Cherokee Mounted Rifles, Colonel Stand Watie.
First Chickasaw Cavalry Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Joseph D. Harris.
First Chickasaw Cavalry Regiment, Colonel William L. Bunter.
First Choctaw Cavalry Battalion (afterward First Choctaw War Regiment) Lieutenant Colonel Francoway Battice.
First Choctaw Battalion (afterward Third Choctaw Regiment), Lieutenant Colonel Jackson McCurtain.
First Choctaw and Chickasaw Mounted Rifles, Colonel Douglas H. Cooper.
First Choctaw Cavalry War Regiment (in 1864 known as Second Choctaw Regiment), Colonel Simpson N. Folsom.
First Choctaw Cavalry Regiment, Colonel Sampson Folsom.
First Seminole Cavalry Battalion (afterward First Seminole Regiment), Lieutenant Colonel
First Creek Cavalry Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Chilly McIntosh.
First Creek Regiment, Colonel Daniel 1N. McIntosh.
Second Cherokee Mounted Rifles, Colonel William P. Adair.
Second Creek Regiment, Colonel Chilly McIntosh.
Third Choctaw Regiment (formerly First Choctaw Battalion), Colonels. Jackson McCurtain. Cherokee Battalion, Major Moses C. Frye, Major Joseph A. Scales.
Chickasaw Cavalry Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Martin Sheco.
Drew’s Cherokee Mounted Rifles (called First and Second), Colonel John Drew.
Osage Battalion, Major Arm Broke.
H. C. CORBIN,
Assistant Adjutant General.
To JAMES H. WARDLE, Esq.,
Acting Superintendent of Census.
Record And Pension Office, War Department,
Washington City, March 6, 1894.
Referring to your letter of the 17th ultimo, relative to the number of Indians from the Indian territory in the military service of the United States during the late war, I and directed by the Secretary of War to inform you that there were 3 regiments of these troops (home guards), numbering from organization to muster out:
First regiment, 1,848
Enlisted men, 1,784
Second Regiment, 1, 901
Enlisted men, 1,835
Third regiment, 1,489
Enlisted men, 1,437
These Indian regiments were officered by both white men and Indians, probably two thirds of them being of the former class, and for that reason the members of Officers and enlisted men have been given separately.
From an official statement prepared by this department in 1872 it appears that the First regiment, was composed principally of Creek Indians, the Second of Osages and Cherokees, and the Third of Creeks and Cherokees.
The number of Indians from the Indian Territory, if any, enlisted in organizations bearing state designations can not be ascertained.
The foregoing, figures are given in lieu of those contained in the statistical table published by this department under date July 13, 1885, and those given in a letter from this department of October 30, 1891.
F. C. AINSWORTH,
Colonel United States Army, Chief Record and Pension Office.
To The Acting Superintendent Of The Census. ↩
For an account of the Indians brigade in the year 1563, see “Memoirs of the Rebellion no the Border, 1863”, by Wiley Britton, late Sixth Kansas cavalry, Chicago. Cushing, Thomas & Co. publishers, 1882.
For a history of the Indian troops from The Five Civilized Tribes of Indium Territory in the Union army, see it report made by S. S. Burdett, M. C., in the House of Representatives, June 8, 1872, entitled “Alleged frauds against certain Indian soldiers “.
An account of the condition of The Five Civilized Tribes in 1861 and 1862 and their sympathy with the Confederacy or service in its army can be found in 2 reports from ‘the committee on foreign missions made to the general assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate states of America one at Augusta, Georgia., December 4, 1861, and the other at Montgomery, Alabama, May 1, 1862. ↩