The Indian Territory in the Civil War Message Board

Newpapers online

Keith Piontek shared this on the Missouri message board so I thought I would post it here as well for those unfamiliar with this resource. While I generally find newspapers to be the least reliable sources, often based on rumor and hearsay, they may also contain reprinted letters and reports which give first hand accounts by soldiers and officers in the field.

The search page is at

The Clarksville Standard in particular has many articles related to the Indian Territory -- one shown below regarding Chustenalah.

STANDARD [CLARKSVILLE, TX], March 1, 1862, p. 2, c. 4

Camp Lubbock, February 1st, 1862 }

Fayetteville, Arkansas, 2nd

Brigade McCulloch's Division. }
Friend Welty;

Dear Sir:--Your kind letter was handed me by the express bearer in good time, and this morning it affords me much pleasure to fix up according to camp style, a reply. we have a deep snow on the ground now, it is about 18 inches deep on level ground and it drifts over one's head. . . . I wish I could send you a map of the battle of Tus-ten-nah-lah, it was a hard fought battle. We fought three or four to one, and charged up a steep mountain to boot. . . It is generally told through the country, that the Indians whipped Cooper and Sims, though I do not think such is the case. Sims did not have a fair chance. He had none but Indians to back or fight with him. I reckon his men felt out of place. It is said, however, that the Indians fought bravely on our side.—On the 26th the battle was fought. We camped on the battle ground that night, brought in all our killed and wounded on the 27th.—We followed them about forty miles, came upon a small bunch of about 150, and killed some 25 or 30, the balance scattered so we could follow them no longer. We returned and camped at the same place we camped the night before, having collected in the meantime about 500 prisoners, mostly women; about forty negroes, and more ponies and dogs than you ever saw. There were some very pretty girls among them. They wanted to follow us off but we drove them back. Women look so strange in camps. . . . I do not get much news to read. I am busy all the time on some kind of duty. I have no more to write now. You must give my love to all the girls, and widows not over thirty.

Direct your letters to Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Your friend,

John C. Bu[rest torn off]