Indian Territory had relevantly little to offer the North or South during the war. Both, The Union and Confederacy thought of the territory as a military buffer zones between the two parties (Reese and Loughlin, 10). Leading up to the war, the Union forces abandoned the forts in Indian Territory (Reese and Loughlin, 13). The 5 tribes realized that they needed to cast their fate with one of the two American powers. Most wanted to support the Confederacy for various reason to include: the recent history of Indian Removal, the abandonment of the forts, the issues of slavery, and the desire to gain their sovereignty (Reese and Loughlin, 11). The majority of tribes also were culturally southern, they owned slaves. The option of remaining neutral in the war was never truly an option. In fact, the Indian’s entered the war on their own terms which further divided the Indian Nations.
Perhaps, the most pivotal person in Indian Territory during the Civil War, was not even an Oklahoman. Albert Pike, an Arkansan with experience dealing with Indians, became the Confederate appointed with getting the Indians residing in Indian Territory to ally with the South (Reese and Loughlin, 13). Pike was excelled at this task securing alliances throughout Indian Territory. Pike used ...
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...impact of actions in Oklahoma at the time did effect the United States as a whole. Post-Civil War with the weakened Indian Nations, they were dependent on the United States to survive losing their chance for sovereignty. Indians became the punching bag of the American West. The actors such as Pike, Ross, Watie were highly influence to the outcome of Oklahoma history. Other places could have seen similar themes in history, but Oklahoma’s history of the Indian Nations in Indian Territory is completely unique to Oklahoma.
The American Civil War was the prime opportunity for the Indian Nations in Indian Territory to seek the sovereignty they desired. Unfortunately, the Indian Nations did not ally themselves with the winner. This caused a unique and difficult period that would last decades as the Indian Nations would rebuild after the civil war, which had ruined them.
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