When the Wolf Came
The Civil War and the Indian Territory
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of Arkansas Press
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Title Page, Frontispiece, Copyright
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Series Editors' Preface
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The Civil War in the West has a single goal: to promote historical writing about the war in the western states and territories. It focuses most particularly on the Trans-Mississippi theater, which consisted of Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, most of Louisiana (west of the Mississippi River), Indian Territory (modern-day Oklahoma), and Arizona Territory (two-fifths...
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Even after 150 years we still live every day with the aftermath of the Civil War in the Indian Territory. Developments in neighboring states assured that the Indian Territory would be drawn into the Civil War, while what happened in the Indian Territory washed over into those states. The war in the Indian Territory also made possible the gathering...
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1. Men and Things Are Changing Fast
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On March 19, 1860, Israel Folsom, a Cumberland Presbyterian minister active in Choctaw politics, wrote to his friend Peter P. Pitchlynn, then representing the Choctaw Nation in Washington, D.C., “Rapidly do men of all classes seem to be losing confidence in each other. It seems men & things are changing fast.”...
2. Now the Wolf Has Come
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In early winter of 1862–1863, Thomas Pegg, acting chief of the Cherokee Nation, reflected on what had happened to his people in a little more than a year’s time. Pegg, or Ayuñadegi, was about sixty, an Old Settler, and had been active in his nation’s affairs for decades. At various times he had represented Saline District in the...
3. Squally Times in This Territory
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In January 1862 Joseph S. Murrow wrote letters describing conditions in the Indian Territory to his friends and colleagues. Originally from Georgia, Murrow was only twenty-six but had already spent four years as a Baptist missionary to the Muscogee and Seminole peoples. When the Civil War began, he had moved his young family to...
4. An Enemy’s Country
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Although it was only a lull in the storm of war, the coming of winter in 1862 brought the Indian Territory both relief and fear. Drought and crop failure had affected the whole area the preceding summer, but the Cherokee Nation was in a particularly desperate condition due as much to man as nature. On January 19, 1863,...
5. Scattered Like Leaves
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In 1878 a writer, reminiscing about the Civil War in the Indian Territory, stated, “The war to preserve the union of States surged over the boundaries of the Indian Territory and swept the Indians from their homes, scattered them like leaves from the forest to the ends of the earth.”1 It was an apt description of what happened from 1861 to...
6. The Terrors of War
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The euphoria among the Confederate allies due to their victory at Cabin Creek faded quickly. It did not affect the decline of the Confederacy in the east, and there were no more ambitious expeditions affecting the Indian Territory by either side in the fall and winter of 1864–1865. There was only desultory raiding and the merciless...
7. Only the Land
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Looking back in 1878, an anonymous writer for the Indian Journal, published in the Muscogee Nation, wrote, “At the close of the war [Muscogee] families were again gathered together only to find their farms desolate, their homes burned, their fences destroyed, their fields overrun with weeds, their church and school...
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The Civil War is a topic that never seems to fall out of favor for research. The 150th anniversary can only heighten interest among professional historians as well as those who simply want to know more about it. The nature of the war in the Indian Territory, touching as it did so many different peoples, should generate even more research and publication....
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About the Author
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Page Count: 440
Publication Year: 2013