Share

1st Kansas Colored Troops
Honey Springs
Elk Creek, Shaw's Inn
Civil War Oklahoma


American Civil War
July 17, 1863

On the same day that the 54th Massachusetts was being repulsed at Battery Wagner, another African American regiment, the 1st Kansas Infantry (Colored), was contributing to the greatest Union victory of the Trans-Mississippi Theater, at Honey Springs in the Indian Territory. The 1st Colored Kansas Infantry was probably the best-trained unit on either side. Raised in 1862 from runaway slaves from Missouri, owing to politics and a mistrust of the reliability of blacks it trained until committed to service in early summer 1863.

In the center of the Union line, exposed to enemy fire, the men were ordered to lie down in the tall grass. The officers remained standing to direct the battle. Several were injured. When a Union Indian Cavalry regiment in reserve behind their line began redeploying, the Confederate assumed the Union was retreating. Anxious to destroy the Yankees, the Confederates, a mixed force of Texas and Confederate Indian cavalry regiments, charged.

As the charge began, the 1st Kansas, on orders from their officers, stood. They fired three volleys in quick succession, shredding the charging cavalry. The picture (below) depicts the 1st Kansas (colored) as they rose from the grass. The color guard, a picked force of NCOs that guarded the regimental colors, can be seen. The flags shown still exists and are on display in the Kansas State Capitol, with many more battle honors than they had on July 17, 1863.

Copyright Osprey Publishing 2003


A Grand Army of Black Men: Letters from African-American Soldiers in the Union Army 1861-1865
Almost 200,000 African-American soldiers fought for the Union in the Civil War. Although most were illiterate ex-slaves, several thousand were well educated, free black men from the northern states
Kansas 1st Colored Cavalry Honey Springs
Picture courtesy Osprey Publishing

Enfield Rifle
1860 Enfield Civil War Musketoon
This piece is a full-size non-firing reproduction of the rifle used in the Civil War. The body is made of European hardwood
Honey Springs Battle Details
Oklahoma State Battle Map
State Battle Maps
Colored Troops
American Civil War Exhibits
Civil War Summary
Women in the War
Civil War Submarines
Documents of the Civil War
Confederate Commanders
Union Generals

54th Massachusetts
Where Death and Glory Meet: Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts Infantry
July 18, 1863, the African American soldiers of the Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Infantry led a courageous but ill-fated charge on Fort Wagner, a key bastion guarding Charleston harbor. Confederate defenders killed, wounded, or made prisoners of half the regiment.

Black Troops in the Union Army
The Sable Arm: Black Troops in the Union Army, 1861-1865
The first work to fully chronicle the remarkable story of the nearly 180,000 black troops who served in the Union army. This work paved the way for the exploration of the black military experience in other wars. This edition, with a new foreword by Herman Hattaway and bibliographical essay by the author, makes available once again a pioneering work that will be especially useful for scholars and students
Forged in Battle: The Civil War Alliance of Black Soldiers and White Officers
Forged in Battle: The Civil War Alliance of Black Soldiers and White Officers
This historical exploration denotes the uneasy alliance between black soldiers and white officers who, divided by racial tension and ideology, were united by the trials and bonds of the war they fought side by side
Kindle Available
Army Life in a Black Regiment

Army Life in a Black Regiment: and Other Writings
In 1862, Thomas Wentworth Higginson was commissioned as a colonel to head the first regiment of emancipated slaves. A Civil War memoir written by an abolitionist, this text is the stirring history of the first regiment of emancipated slaves formed to fight in the Civil War
A Black Woman's Civil War Memoirs
A Black Woman's Civil War Memoirs: Reminiscences of My Life in Camp With the 33rd U.S. Colored Troops, Late 1st South Carolina Volunteers
Taylor was born a slave in 1848 on an island off the coast of Georgia. She gained her freedom and worked as a laundress for an African-American Union regiment during the war. She offers fascinating details about her life with the troops
Kindle Available
Black Slaveowners

Black Slaveowners: Free Black Slave Masters in South Carolina, 1790-1860
An analysis of all aspects and particularly of the commercialism of black slaveowning debunks the myth that black slaveholding was a benevolent institution based on kinship, and explains the transition of black masters from slavery to paid labor.
Black Confederates
Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees
in Civil War Virginia

African American life in Virginia, both slave and free, during the civil war, from soldiers who fought in the Confederate and Union armies to those who acted as spies
Black Confederates
Black Confederates
It was illegal for Blacks to carry arms until March of 1865, and numerous Confederate Government documents attest to the illegality of using slaves and free Blacks in that capacity
Black Confederates
Black Southerners in Confederate Armies
Official records, newspaper articles, and veterans' accounts to tell the  stories of the Black Confederates. This well researched collection is a contribution to the discussion about the numbers of black Southerners involved and their significant history.
Kindle Available

Civil War on the Western Border, 1854-1865
Fanatical politics of the western frontier, immigrant abolitionists with loaded Spencer rifles funded by mysterious personages back East, cut-throats, gin heads and horse thieves, colorful character descriptions

The Civil War in Arizona: The Story of the California Volunteers, 1861-1865
History of the California Column in wartime Arizona and a rare compilation of letters written by the volunteer soldiers who served in the U.S. Army from 1861 to 1866. These letters provide testimony of the grueling desert conditions the soldiers endured as they fought on many fronts
Black Flag
Black Flag: Guerrilla Warfare on the Western Border, 1861-1865: A Riveting Account of a Bloody Chapter in Civil War History
The guerilla warfare along the Kansas-Missouri boarder brought forth some of the bloodiest incidents of the Civil War
Kindle Available
Buffalo Soldiers

Child of the Fighting Tenth: On the Frontier with the Buffalo Soldiers
The drama of growing up in the frontier army, the Indian wars on the plains, the Geronimo campaign in the Southwest and Mexico, her love for the regiment and the Buffalo Soldiers, their admiration for her, and even her lost love for a dashing young cavalry officer