Battle of Cabin Creek

Big Cabin
Big Cabin Bank

Imagine yourself going back in time to 1864. Sitting at a stage station located in Oklahoma's Indian Territory on Cabin Creek. A church, stage station, hospital and stockade buildings are clustered along a busy military road connecting Fort Scott, Kansas and Fort Gibson, Indian Territory, with supply wagons bringing settlers and goods into the territory.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis termed the "Battle of Cabin Creek" the "most complete battle" of the Civil War. Known to Union historians as the "Disaster at Cabin Creek". Of the 88 battles and skirmishes that took place in Indian Territory, the second Battle of Cabin Creek was the most significant.

In a desperate effort to wrest possession of Indian Territory from the control of the federals, General Stand Watie and other Confederates formulated a plan to cut the supply line. A Confederate force of 2,000 men with calvary and cannons attacked a Union wagon supply train consisting of 205 wagons, 91 sutler (supply) wagons and four ambulances, at a stage station called Cabin Creek. The train was escorted by 300 troops and there were 170 Union Cherokees garrisoned at Cabin Creek Station, sent from Fort Gibson for escort. There were at least 250 teamsters, armed for the occasion.

At 1:00 a.m., September 19, 1864, the Battle of Cabin Creek began. By dawn the Union defenses were crushed and Yanks were scattered in the woods, retreating to Fort Gibson. For the first time in years, food was plentiful and badly needed supplies were available. Over 100 wagons, about 720 mules and goods valued at $500,000 were captured. This "victorious" mood was not to last long, however, as the following spring, General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House and General Stand Watie and his brigade laid down their arms.

This becomes a reality in October every third (3rd)year since 1992 in Vinita. A variety of events are always scheduled for the Cabin Creek Re-enactment weekend. Authentic camps will be set up, representing Union and Confederate forces of the 1860's at the campsite. The camps are open to the public, with opportunity to visit with re-enactors and hear their stories. The battle begins in the afternoon.

For information on attending this event, contact organizers by writing:

Battle of Cabin Creek
PO Box 882
Vinita, OK 74301
Phone: (918) 256-7133

created 10-30-99 mgc

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