Saturday, October 22, 2011

In The Indian Territories

The Battle of Old Fort Wayne was fought October 22nd 1862 in eastern Oklahoma.

Confederates started concentrating forces in July 1862 at Fayetteville, Arkansas for a raid into Missouri.  After weeks spent recruiting, Colonel Douglas Hancock Cooper took his men through Indian Territory to Old Fort Wayne, located on the edge of Beatties Prairie.  He placed pickets in Maysville about four mile north, near the Arkansas and Indian Territory boarder.  This put Coopers troops in support of Confederate John Sappington Marmaduke’s Texans located at Cross Hollows, near Lowell, Arkansas.

The closest Union troops were at Pea Ridge, Arkansas.  The Union soldiers were part of John Schofield’s Army of the Frontier.  Schofield received information that there was a Confederate force under Cooper at Maysville.  The scouts told Schofield that it included two of Stand Watie’s Cherokee Regiment and numbered about 7,000 men.

About 5am on October 22nd 1862 Union Brigadier General James G Blunt sent the 2nd Kansas Cavalry to attack the Confederates at Maysville.  The 2nd drove in the pickets and followed them three miles into Indian Territory.  At this point they came up against Cooper’s battle line.  Even though the Union report had Cooper’s force at 7,000 in truth they had only about 1,500 men and four guns of Howell’s Texas Battery, in a line about a mile long.  As the rest of the Union force came up they hit the center of the Confederate line hard, opening a wide hole in the line.  Cooper’s men put up a hard fight for about a half hour, before they were overwhelmed and went into retreat, with Union troops pursuing them for seven miles.

The Union lost about 14 men.  The Confederate’s saw about 150 wounded or dead, including 50 who reported to have been buried on the field.  The Confederates pulled back to Fort Gibson on the Arkansas River, leaving the Indian Territory north of the river in Union control.

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