The Indian Territory in the Civil War Message Board - Archive

J.W. Cooper's Battalion
In Response To: Re: Northwest Frontier Brigade ()

Dear Lars,

This J.W. Cooper was D.H. Cooper's son. I do not know if the troops were white or Native-American. The roster that does exist in the Broadfoot Publ. Roster does "not" contain any traditional Indian names. This unit, in late '64 and '65 appears to have operated primarily in NW Arkansas and numbered about 150-200 men. Though this unit is listed as a part of the "Northwest Frontier Brigade" (from the earlier posting), Cooper identifies his unit as a part of the 1st Indian Brigade (Watie's). Here are all the OR references to this unit.


Springfield, Mo., October 27, 1864.
Col. J. DARR, Jr.,
Acting Provost-Marshal-Gen., Saint Louis:

Scouts returned from the northwest near Greenfield this morning. No news from Price. Have scouts from Papinsville to Warsaw on the Osage. Have sent Lieut.-Col. Cameron with 300 cavalry to Greenfield with instructions to keep out scouts. He reports that Price cannot move between that place and Kansas, and he cannot procure forage and subsistence. Have the cavalry ready to concentrate and move at a moment's notice. The county is filled with stragglers from Price's army going south, and in consequence am obliged to patrol the country east of this. Forty-five prisoners have been brought in. No news from Gen. Cooper. Maj. Cooper and Burke are on Pea Ridge with 800 men.

Lieut.-Col. and Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.


FAYETTEVILLE, ARK., March 6, 1865.
Brig.-Gen. SANBORN:

Citizens report Maj. Cooper in Benton County with 150 men and Buck Brown on Spavinaw with 50. I have sent fifty men to Bentonville to re-enforce the colony at that place.

Col., Cmdg.


FAYETTEVILLE, May 2, 1865.
Brigadier-Gen. SANBORN:

Maj. Cooper had an interview with Lieutenant Munday on Pea Ridge on Friday. He says all his men except ten have surrendered to the colonies; that he is disgusted with the war, and will never fight again. He has gone back to induce the remainder to surrender. He has promised to come to Fayetteville with Lieutenant Munday this week. There are now five flourishing colonies in Benton County, namely, Bentonville, Osage, Pea Ridge, Sugar Creek, and Elkhorn, numbering 100 men. This breaks up the last gang in the three western counties. Of the men who came in with Jacks this spring one is left alive. Thus the good work goes on.

Col., Cmdg.


Springfield, Mo., May 7, 1865.
Maj.-Gen. DODGE,
Cmdg. Department:

Dispatch received.* These rebels cross the Arkansas River west of Gibson and keep on the west side of the Grand, or Neosho, River, enter north of Jasper County, and then bear east through the Northwest corner of Burton and through Vernon County across the Osage. The Grand River has been a perfect sea for six weeks. I have made two attempts to get troops across it to operate west in the Nation, and have failed both times for high water. I will make the effort again in a few days if I can possibly spare the mounted troops. Maj. Cooper's band, of about 150 men that has all the time been operating on King's and White Rivers and constantly threatening the Government trains going to and from Fayetteville, have all surrendered and taken the oath of amnesty. I am making an effort to get the rebel force operating on White River south of Rosyth to surrender also. If I succeed I can send troops west into the Nation at once and close up that runway. Thirty rebel deserters from Arkansas took the oath yesterday at Cassville.

Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.


Saint Louis, Mo., May 8, 1865.
(Received 9.20 a.m.)
Maj.-Gen. POPE:

Col. Blair and Gen. Sanborn report body of bushwhackers, 300 strong, working north; crossed Arkansas River west of Fort Gibson; came through Indian Nation. Col. Harding reports two bands on line of Union Pacific Railroad about 100 strong. They killed four teamsters on railroad; says our troops are on them. The ground on Osage River has been overflowed, so it is impossible to cross troops. Maj. Cooper's battalion surrendered to Gen. Sanborn and took the oath.



Cassville, June 3, 1865.
Bvt. Maj. Gen. J. B. SANBORN:

SIR: Yesterday I came back from a five days' scout through the northern part of Arkansas. According to your orders I made efforts to accomplish a meeting with the leading Confederate officers in said part of the country. Finding Col. Coffee was nowhere near, I communicated with Maj. J. W. Cooper, Indian Brigade, in sending him your instructions to me from May 17 last, and request him (Cooper) to surrender under the terms named therein. His answer you will please find in copy No. 1. I then directed to him what you will see in No. 2, and at about 2 p.m. on the 30th of May last I, in presence of Capt. Ph. Rohrer and two lieutenants, met Maj. Cooper, and came after an hour's talk to the following agreement: Cooper would not surrender until caught, or ordered to do so by his superiors, but cease all hostilities against our party, and, furthermore, help us all he can in keeping down stealing, &c. I agreed to this, provided it meets your approbation, and with the clear understanding that this quasi armistice would be at an end whenever he did not come up fully with his promise. To explain to you why I wrote to Cooper twice, I would say it was pretty troublesome to get him to come. After long private conversations with some of Cooper's friends I was bound, in order to see him to pledge myself of his safe coming and going whether he would surrender or not.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Maj. Third Battalion, Fifteenth Missouri Volunteer Cavalry.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

On the Range, May 30, 1865.

I have the honor to receiving your communication of to-day. As for surrendering, I do not think that I am under any compulsion to justify an honorable surrender, and shall not until I am ordered by my commander. Desiring to go to my command, I am willing to meet you in order to prevent depredations on citizens: I am willing to cease hostilities.

Respectfully, your most obedient servant,

Maj., Cmdg. Cooper's Battalion, First Indian Brigade,
District of Indian Territory, C. S. Army.

[Series I. Vol. 48. Part II, Correspondence, Etc. Serial No. 102.]

[Inclosure No. 2.]

BERRYVILLE, ARK., May 30, 1865.

SIR: Yours of the 29th instant is at hand, and in reply I would say my main object in addressing my last to you was to cause hostilities to cease on peaceable citizens in this country. It is not in the least my intention to seek any ungentlemanly advantage of you. My directions from headquarters are simply such as you saw yesterday. I sincerely wish to see you before to-night, and you can rest assured at the end of our conference that you can go safe to any place you wish, no matter if you surrender or not. The bearer of this, Henry Woods, will specify time and place where our meeting shall take effect.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Maj., Cmdg. U. S. Forced.

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Northwest Frontier Brigade
Re: Northwest Frontier Brigade
Re: Northwest Frontier Brigade
J.W. Cooper's Battalion
Re: Northwest Frontier Brigade