Indian Home Guard (American Civil War)
The Indian Home Guard were volunteer infantry regiments recruited from the Five Civilized Tribes of Indian Territory to support the Union during the American Civil War. The list of Confederate units of Indian Territory is shown separately.
The leaders of all of the Five Civilized Tribes signed treaties with the Confederacy at the start of the Civil War. Many of the tribal members, however, did not support the Confederacy, and, not being organized, were driven from Indian Territory with a large loss of life. Most fled to Kansas and Missouri. Many of the “Loyal” Indians volunteered for Union duty in order to get control back from the Confederate generals. The Indian Home Guard regiments fought mostly in Indian Territory and Arkansas. It was mainly due to these Loyal Indians that the Five Civilized Tribes were able to retain any of their lands following the end of the Civil War.
Indian Home Guard Regiments
1st Regiment, Indian Home Guard
- Organized at Le Roy, Kansas, May 22, 1862.
2nd Regiment, Indian Home Guard
- Organized on Big Creek and at Five-Mile Creek, Kansas, June 22 to July 18, 1862. “Concurrently with the 1st Regiment of Indian Home Guards in May 1862, this regiment, commanded by Colonel John Ritchie, consisted of one company each of Delaware, Kickapoo, Quapaw, Seneca, and Shawnee, two companies of Osage, and two of Cherokee. It took longer to organize, due to the political disagreements of the various government agents involved in the negotiations. They were attached to the first Indian Expedition given the task of clearing the territory north of the Arkansas River of Confederates. Lack of support from higher command, as well as in-fighting” among the colonels, caused the expedition to be withdrawn.”
3rd Regiment, Indian Home Guard
The Third Regiment was formed at Talequah and Park Hill in July 1862. It was commanded by Colonel William A. Phillips. Many of its troops had previously fought for the Confederate Army, particularly the First Cherokee Mounted Rifles that had been commanded by Colonel John Drew.
4th Regiment, Indian Home Guard
Organization commenced but not completed. Men transferred to other organizations.
- Indian Territory in the American Civil War
- Indian cavalry
- Choctaw in the American Civil War
- Cherokee in the American Civil War
- Text of interpretive sign on Trail #1 (Federal Units) at Honey Springs Battlefield Archived 2007-03-14 at the Wayback Machine
- Franzmann, Tom. Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
- Abel, Annie Heloise. The American Indian in the Civil War 1862–1865. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1992. ISBN 0-8032-5919-0.
- Connole, Joseph.The Civil War and the Subversion of American Indian Sovereignty”. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2017 ISBN 1476670730
- Britton, Wiley. The Union Indian Brigade in the Civil War. Kansas City: Franklin Hudson Publishing Co., 1922. at the Internet Archive
- Warde, Mary Jane. 'Now the Wolf Has Come': The Civilian Civil War in the Indian Territory. The Chronicles of Oklahoma, Vol 71 (Spring 1993).
- The Civil War Archive—Indian Troops
- Junto Society
- Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture – Indian Home Guard
- Oklahoma Digital Maps: Digital Collections of Oklahoma and Indian Territory