The Engagement at Honey Springs (called The Affair at Elk Creek by the Confederates) was the largest of more than 107 documented hostile encounters in the Indian Territory. The engagement took place on a rainy Friday, July 17, 1863, between the 1st Division, Army of the Frontier, commanded by Maj. Gen. James G. Blunt and the Confederate Indian Brigade led by Brig. Gen. Douglas H. Cooper.
Cherokee and Creek regiments fought on both sides. There were approximately 9000 men involved, including other American Indians, veteran Texas regiments, and the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteers (the first black regiment in the Union army).
The 1,100 acre site has six walking trails with a total of 55 interpretive signs; the trails are located at (1) the Union bivouac area, (2) the Union line of battle, (3) the Texas' regiments line of battle [which includes 1/8-mile of the original Texas Road], (4) the battle at the bridge [over Elk Creek], (5) the final action, and (6) Honey Springs [the Confederate supply depot].
Much of what we know about the American Civil War is derived from actual reports and correspondence made by officers involved in the conflict. In the years following the war a committee comprised mostly of former Union and Confederate colonels selected documents from those saved in Richmond and Washington files to be published in a 128 volume document entitled The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Here are the reports pertaining to the Engagement at Honey Springs, Indian Territory.