This is an old article from Confederate Veteran Magazine:
CHOCTAW INDIANS AS CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS.
BY MAJ. S. G. SPANN, COMMANDER DABNEY H. MAURY CAMP,
NO. 1312, U. C. V., MERIDIAN, MISS.
Many earnest friends and comrades insist that the Choctaw Indian as a Confederate soldier should receive his proper place on the scroll of events during the War between the States. This task having been so nearly ignored, I send some reminiscences that will be an exponent of the extraordinary merit of the Choctaw Indian on the American Continent. My connection with the Choctaw Indians, by authority from the War Department of the Indians, of Kemper, DeKalb, Neshoba, Jasper, Scott, and Newton Counties, Miss., known as “First Battalion of Choctaw Indians, Confederate army.” He established two camps—a recruiting camp in Newton County and a drill camp at Tangipahoa—just beyond the State boundary line in Louisiana in the fall of 1862.
New Orleans at that time was in the hands of the Federal Gen. B. F. Butler. Without notice a reconnoitering party of the enemy raided the camp and captured over two dozen Indians and several noncomissioned white officers and carried them to New Orleans. All the officers and several of the Indians escaped and returned to the Newton County camp; but all the balance of the captured Indians were carried to New York, and were daily paraded in the public parks as curiosities for the sport of sight-seers. This catastrophe so chagrined the officers of the entire command and so demoralized the Indians that a council for advisement was resolved upon, the result of which was that a messenger should be sent forthwith to Richmond, bearing a full report of this unfortunate escapade, and insisting that the battalion be transferred to Spann's Battalion of Mounted Scouts, then being formed by authority of the Secretary of War under the immediate auspices of Gen. Dabney H. Maury, Commander of the Department of the Gulf. The petition was readily granted, and a recruiting camp was immediately established at the foot of Stone Street in Mobile, adjoining the grounds occupied by Spann's Battalion af White Mounted Cavalry. In the meantime, the Newton County camp was maintained under the personal charge of Lieut. Thomas H. Gresham, now of Heidelberg, Miss., and Lieut. Ben Duckworth, of Mississippi City, Miss. The Mobile camp continued to fill up rapidly under the personal charge of Lieut. Robert Welch, of Marion, Ala., and Capt. R. Lewis, of De Kalb County, Miss.
Enthusiasm again animated the proud-hearted young braves, and the whole tribe seemed once more to be fired with the true war spirit. Among the recruits came a fine, stalwart, intelligent-looking young brave known among his comrades as Eabantatubbee, grand-nephew of the great Chief Pushmattaha and familiarly known to his White friends as Jack Amos. I at once utilized jack Amos as my interpreter, and provided comfortable quarters for him adjacent to my own tent. When in the midst of our brightest prospects, recruiting daily accessions to our ranks, Jack Amos discovered that some mutterings and dissensions prevailed among the women and noncombatant Indians. Further Investigations led him to discover that Percy Walker, Esq., a prominent lawyer of the Mobile bar, had informed the noncombatants that the Indians were not liable to do Confederate service, and therefore, exempt from conscription; and if they would pay him one dollar per capita, he would procure papers of exemption for the whole tribe for the war. Jack Amos. knowing the nature of the Indians, and that this temptation might lead to mutiny and general insubordination, reported the affair to me. I went immediately with him to Gen. Dabney H. Maury, and had the facts related to Gen. Maury, who lost no time in giving the matter a vigorous coup de grace.
In the meantime my white companies, under Capt. J. M. Tindel (now residing in New Orleans). Capt. M. M. Burke (late of Columbus Miss.), Capt. S. A. D. Steel (then a lawyer at Enterprise, Miss.). and Capt. J. C. Moore (of Chattanooga, Tenn.), were actively progressing. At this juncture, with my interpreter Jack Amos, I went up to the Newton County camp. While there in the early part of June, 1863, rain fell in torrents flooding the streams, the roads became impassable, and country bridges were washed away. Vicksburg was being besieged by Grant, and reinforcements were ordered to thc assistance of Pemberton. Chunkey River intervened and the bridge across the river was submerged and the water far out of the river banks. The engineer was under military orders, and his long train of cars was filled with Confederate soldiers, who like the engineer, were animated with but one impulse ~ to Vicksburg! to victory or death!
Onward rushed the engineer. All passed over except the hindmost car. The bridge had swerved out of plumb and into the raging waters with nearly one hundred soldiers the rear car was precipitated "Help !" was the cry. but there was no help. The cry reached the camp. “Fly to the rescue!" was the command, and in less time than I can tell the story every Indian was at the scene. It was there that Jack Amos again displayed his courage and devotion to the Confederate soldiers. I must not omit to say, however. that with a like valor and zeal Elder Williams, another full-blood Indian soldier, proved equal to the emergency. Jack Amos and Elder Williams both reside now in Newton County. Williams is now an ordained Baptist minister, having been a gospel student under the venerable and beloved Rev. Dr. N. L Clark, now living at Decatur, Newton County, and father of our Dr. Clark. of Meridian. Led by these two dauntless braves, every Indian present stripped and plunged into that raging river to the rescue of the drowning soldiers. Ninety-six bodies were brought out upon a prominent strip of land above the water line. Twenty-two were resuscitated and returned to their commands, and all the balance were crudely interred upon the railroad right of way, where they now lie in full view of the passing train, except nine, who were afterwards disinterred by kind friends and given a more honorable burial.
Officiating at this terrible calamity were Lieut. T. H. Gresham, Lieut. Ben Duckworth, and Corporal John Blakeley, who was at that time at home on a furlough from Spann’s Battalion of Cavalry at Mobile. This lonely burial spot so far seems unkept by the tender care of any friendly hand. At no time as yet have the unmarked graves been numbered among those who share the wreaths and bouquests of flowers by the hand of our kind and loving Daughters on Decoration Day, yet this sad neglect will, it is hoped, soon have its end. It is the purpose of Camp Dabney H. Maury to erect a twin shaft upon the spot where these dead martyrs repose, commemorating alike the memory of the Confederate heroes and perpetuate the testimonial of the patriotic devotion exhibited by the Choctaw Indian braves, whose prowess and fidelity to the Confederate cause entitle them to the respect of our Confederate soldiery everywhere and to all lovers of the true and the faithful wherever found.