Saturday, April 12, 2014

Henry Battiest - Choctaw Life Told In Pioneer Interview

1st page of Pioneer Interview with Henry Battiest.

Source: Interview with Henry Battiest, Indian Pioneer Papers, Western History Collections, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma.

Henry Battiest was the son of Choctaw citizen Jack Battiest, and a Cherokee Freedwoman Jane Battiest. He spent his entire life in the southern part of the Choctaw Nation, and lived in a quiet Choctaw Freedman community known as Beaver Dam are. The closest town was Antlers.

In the 1930s he was interviewed by the Indian Pioneer project and he described his life in the 1880s and early 1900s in Choctaw Country. He received a 40 acres allotment and shared aspects of his life around Choctaws, few whites and of course the Freedmen in the community.

His interview describes life in small communities and he described their daily life, farming life, the social atmosphere between people of color and others, as well as traditions such as the funeral "cries". In addition, other traditions from farm life to tribal life were described by Battiest.

The rich data he shared can open the door to one's research, and in this case, life in Choctaw country among those considered "black" should be read in proper historical context from which they came.

The rest of the interview continues: 

Henry Battiest was born after the Civil War, but his parents Jack and Jane had been enslaved in Indian Territory. Though described as having an Indian father, his father Jack was once enslaved by the Grigg's of the Choctaw Nation and his mother Jane was a slave of the Lowerys of the Cherokee Nation. It is not known why she was not a Cherokee Freedman. 

Dawes Card of Henry Battiest
NARA Publication M1186 - Enrollment Cards for the Five Civilized Tribes
Choctaw Freedmen Card No 1542

His sister Mary was also enrolled as a Choctaw Freedman.
Dawes Card of Mary Battiest, sister to Henry

Source: NARA Publication M1186 - Enrollment Cards for the Five Civilized Tribes
Choctaw Freedmen Card No 1543

The interviews of Henry and Jane Battiest addressed more of their parents' status of having been enslaved than their being citizens of the nation. 

The Pioneer Interview of Henry Battiest, which is part of the Western History Collection,  gives testament to the fact that all resources should be explored when making the effort to tell the family history. In this case, the Battiest's were more than a family once enslaved. They lived upon the land and lived among those who shared the same historical landscape.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Exploring Choctaw Freedmen Minors and Newborns on Dawes Records

Choctaw Freedman Card No. 777, with small notation made on front of card 
Image from NARA Publication M1186 Choctaw Freedmen

When exploring the history of families who were Choctaw Freedmen, it is important to follow all data and all clues in the files. This includes small notes made on each document. In many cases Dawes Enrollment Cards (M1186) contain additional notes that reflect more family history data beyond the family's primary card. One often sees notes on the bottom of enrollment cards that children of persons enrolled are added on another family associated card. 

Keep in mind that each card usually has an application jacket, which is essentially a file with interviews that corroborate data found on the card. In the case of the additional cards---it is critical that the family historian follow those notes, find the files and find the card and the interview that accompanies the card.

In the case of the Walton family found on Choctaw Freedman Card No. 777, Samuel, his wife Sarah and their children Sam Jr. Houston and a step daughter Louisa are all listed. A note on the bottom of the card points the researcher to another file---NB #230. This means a "New Born" card number 230. However they were eventually put in a category called "Minors" and were classified as "Minor Choctaw Freedmen."  

Minor Choctaw Freedman Enrollment Card #230 
National Archives Publication No. M1186

There is also a file among the Application Jackets. In addition is there found data on the children, but there is also information regarding the relationship to the grandmother of the children, Sallie Walton. The father George Sanders is interviewed in this case, and he makes a reference to a nickname that the family used for Sallie Walton, "Kittie". 

In this particular case, I know that Kittie was a nickname for Sallie, whom I personally knew when I was a child. I later learned that Kittie was also the name of Sallie's grandmother. 

Pages from Choctaw Freedman Minors Card #230
National Archives Publication #1301

It is quite useful to study the notations on all parts of the card not just the names at the top of the card. And of course by reading the associated files other data can be gleaned about the family and their interpersonal relationships. I can recall when I was a small child, an uncle who was visiting, was speaking to my gr. grandmother Sallie, and he asked her, "don't they call you Kitty or Lil' Kittie?"  She smiled, kind of blushed and then simply said, "oh some people used to call me that."  It would be decades later that I would learn who the first "Kitty" was in the family.

The names on the Minor Card fascinated me, because I actually had known John Henry Sanders. He was a mature man when I knew him. He worked at a Texaco station on Dewey Avenue in Poteau, Oklahoma. The Walton and Sanders family had come from what is now LeFlore County, and Poteau is the county seat. And in the 1990s I met another cousin whom I didn't know that well, who was referred to as Aunt Etha. 

I decided to interview her as she was in her 90s at the time. It turned out that this "Etha was actually "Easter" who was on the Dawes card. She said her full name was Annie Easter Sanders and her grandmother was my gr. grandmother Sallie. I then realized that I was indeed speaking with an original Dawes Roll enrollee from our family. This was 1995, and she passed away in 1999. Meeting her was a thrill, as she reminded me so much of gr. grandma Sallie, in her tone, her appearance and the way she carried herself. I was so glad to have met her before she passed.

Annie Easter Sanders in McCalester Oklahoma in sumner of 1995. 
Easter Sanders was one of the last Dawes Choctaw Freedmen enrollees. She died in 1999.

The greater lesson is that the small notes made on the front of a family's card is significant and it is critical that the researcher follow the notations, which can lead to additional files on the same family.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Supplement Freedmen Records With Pioneer Interviews - Case Study: Jack Campbell

National Archives Microfilm Publication M1186, Choctaw Freedman 1188 Front & Back

Jack Campbell of Skullyville appeared in front of the Dawes Commission in October of 1898. He applied for his himself and his family, including his wife Lillie and their seven children.

Clearly, when Mr. Campbell first enrolled the family, he was being interviewed as a Chickasaw Freedman, and his interview clearly illustrates the manner in which former Chickasaw slaves were treated. Their interviews are often found to be summaries and not verbatim statements taken under oath. This occurrence was later addressed when acts to defraud the former slaves were brought up before Congress, and several testimonies in the Congressional Record address interviews such as this.

The challenge when researching many of the records pertaining to Oklahoma Freedmen, is that they were as a population often treated differently during the enrollment process. Similar to those formerly enslaved people in the United States, persons with any degree of African ancestry often found that they were still being treated with the badge of slavery- even including those with blood ties to the same nations.  When it came to enrollment for Freedmen, they were to received substantially less land than their neighbors identified to be citizens "by blood". But nevertheless, this was an opportunity to obtain land before eventual statehood, so the Freedmen applied so that they would be eligible for land.

From a genealogical sense, the data is still quite useful to study. In many cases, as stated above, of Choctaw and Chickasaw Freedmen, one will find very short interviews in the applications jackets, which were at times, merely summaries of the data collected. The data however, found in the application jackets, can still provide useful information. Though in the case of Jack Campbell, the interview was brief, the jacket contained several birth affidavits in spite of the notably short interview.

Note that the family was at first enrolled as Chickasaw Freedmen. They were later transferred to the roll of Choctaw Freedmen.

This summary of the Jack Campbell interview is found in the Application Jacket. National Archives Publication M1301  Jack Campbell file, Choctaw Freedman 1188

However, the tenatious Freedman researcher is urged to look at other Oklahoma resources to find additional records that tell the story of the former slaves. In the case of Jack Campbell, he was interviewed by the staff of the Indian Pionner Papers, and more data about his life is outlined in a fascinating interview. In fact, not only is data about the life of Jack Campbell outlined, but much of his life in the late 1800s living on the western frontier among Choctaw and Chickasaws is described in colorful detail.

All documents came from the interview with Jack Campbell, and are part of the Indian Pioneer Papers of the Western History Collection at the University of Oklahoma, Norman Oklahoma

When researching the Choctaw as well as Chickasaw Freedmen, the need to supplement the data found and sometimes not found in Dawes records can truly open doors to a life otherwise under studied and under reported when writing the family narrative.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Burning of Lucy, A Choctaw Slave

Who was Lucy?
Not much is really known about Lucy. She was simply a Black woman enslaved in the Choctaw Nation.

The few facts that are known about her, are that she was the mother of eight children, and she was allowed as were other slaves, to worship at the local Presbyterian Church of their Choctaw Masters. And she was said to have been a member in good standing in the church. (This was also the church attended by noted leader Cyrus Byington who created the Choctaw dictionary.)

In 1858 an incident took place involving one of the slaves of Robert Harkins, a leading Choctaw leader who also held her as a slave. A confrontation had occurred between Harkins and a male slave called Prince. The confrontation ended with Harkins, the slave holder being killed.

For several days Harkins was simply missing, but then his absence was noted, and inquiries began. The male slave was confronted and at first denied any knowledge, but eventually admitted to the slaying of Harkins. During his confession he also stated that Lucy was involved and had planned the killing.

Lucy denied this vehemently and it is stated that much evidence was revealed that proved that she was not involved. However, Indian Territory and the Choctaw Nation were slave country. Harkins widow Lavina, wanted revenge for husband's death, But the slave who admitted to killing Harkins, then committed suicide, so there was no guilty party to execute. But Lavenia, the grieving widow, demanded that someone pay for the death of her husband.

The culture of Slave America prevailed and in spite of Lucy's vehement denials and arising doubts of any guilt, Lucy was sentenced to death. The decision was, that a black life had to pay for the death of Harkins. It was decided that she would be executed and the most cruel method was selected---she was to be burned alive!  She was to be burned along with the body of the now deceased slave Prince, who had admitted to the killing. Southern sentiments towards black life prevailed  in Lucy's case, and this is one of the earliest incidents were the culture of "lynching-as-entertainment" was recorded.

Word spread quickly throughout the Territory--a slave woman was going to be burned alive. No outrage was expressed, and nothing was done to prevent her demise, and in fact curiosity was aroused. The burning of Lucy was going to be entertainment, and people from many miles around were said to have packed up the family to come and watch Lucy burn. Her death was simply entertainment.

So the burning of this poor Black woman, was destined to become entertainment. Sadly "lynching as entertainment" would spread throughout the south and lynching culture prevailed till the middle of the 20th century. Such events would occur, without prosecution, and the lives of those with roots in a slave environment would pay the price of simply living.

Aftermath in the Community
Not much more was known of this story--Lavina the grieving widow in the Presbyterian church kept her good standing with the church. Because of the ties to the Presbyterian church, and the involvement of many affiliated church leaders, with the people involved,  the story of the Burning of Lucy was kept hidden for over a year from Presbyterians leaders, who had missions well established in the Choctaw Nation. It was feared that had church leaders learned of the Slave burning involving prominent members of their mission in Choctaw country, that many of their efforts may have been jeopardized.

Sadly, for many reasons, Lucy, and her tragic end have been erased, almost entirely from the pages of Indian Territory history, Choctaw History, Oklahoma history and American history.

But the impact of the burning of this woman had to have reached the lives of the enslaved people in Choctaw Country.

My gr. grandparents and their loved ones were among those enslaved in Choctaw country.
Did they know Lucy?
Or had they heard of her?
Did they have to watch her execution?
Did they have to weep in silence as one of them was lead unfairly to a painful death?
Or did the story come to them via the slave communication network?

The answers will never be known---but Lucy--whose children were most likely scattered and divided among other slaves, deserves to have her story told and to have her name called. It is said that she spoke of her innocence till her last breath.

Nevertheless, she paid the price, paid by so many for simply having lived, been enslaved and accused.

May Lucy's spirit be free, and may there be joy somewhere for her descendants whoever they are and wherever they may be.

More information:
Further reading about this incident can be found in the following works:

William McLoughlin, "The Choctaw Slave Burning": A Crisis in Mission Work Among the Indians. Journal of the West (no. 13), 1974, 114-115

Master's Thesis:
Fortney, Jeffrey L. Jr. Slaves and Slaveholders in the Choctaw Nation 1830-1866. Denton Texas
Digital Library 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

In Search Of a Slave Called Jake, There Came a Soldier Called Jacob

Some time ago,  I went in search of Jake Hall, a man who was the father of Squire Hall of Skullyville. Jake Hall was enslaved on the Hall plantation in the Choctaw Nation, in 1860. Between 1860 and 1861 it is said that there was a slave insurrection when several of the slave holder's family members had been killed.

As the enslaved men on the Hall plantation attempted to seize their freedom, they were met with resistance by the Hall family and the overseer. Several of the Hall men subsequently died in the altercation. According to one of the stories from the Indian Pioneer Papers, Jake Hall intervened in some way, was able to stop the fighting and prevented further bloodshed. Little else is mentioned about him except that he died during the Civil War.

According to the interview, Walker Folsom took over the Hall slaves after the insurrection ended. The slave holder had died, and Walker Folsom is said to have become the owner or guardian of the slaves. I decided to see if I could find Walker Folsom on the slave schedule, and I did find a small group of slaves listed under his ownership.

Walker Folsom is shown owning several slaves, in 1860

But upon close examination of the Skullyville Slave Schedule, I see that Jos. R. Hall is listed as the owner of 20 slaves. And among those slaves is a man in his late thirties who would have been forty by 1863. Jacob Hall enlisted in 1863 in the Union Army and his age was said to have been forty.

1860 Slave Schedule reflecting persons enslaved by Jos. R.  Hall, of Skullyville, Choctaw Nation.

This many have possibly been the list of the Hall Plantation slaves prior to the uprising and the only list of Hall slaves.

Finding this list of slaves on the slave schedule is special because this census was conducted in November of 1860. This suggests that the uprising was most likely in 1861. Details about the uprising are few, and I wondered about his role in ending it. The interview suggested that the overseer had started the uprising, though not much more is known.

Was Jake the enslaved man being depicted as somehow being a "loyal slave", or was he simply minimizing blood shed in a violent situation?

Could anything else be learned about Jake Hall?

There was one possibility and I decided to pursue it. It was stated that Jake died before the end of the Civil War.

Could there have been a Jake Hall who might have enlisted in the Union Army, and possibly have served in the US Colored Troops?

Did he yearn for freedom like his comrades in the uprising?

Could any more be learned about this man?

Did he simply wait for freedom to come?

Or was there another aspect to this man?

I had to revisit what I knew--little though it was. The Halls lived in Skullyville in the northern part of the Choctaw Nation and directly south of the nearby Cherokee Nation border to the north. And to the east, they were bordered by the town of Ft. Smith Arkansas.

Considering their location, there were several possibilities. There were a good number of men from Indian Territory who enlisted in the Union Army who had gone into Kansas early in the war. These men enlisted in one of two regiments--the First and Second Kansas Colored Infantries. (By mid 1863, these regiments were re-designated as the 79th and 83rd US Colored Infantry respectively.)

I also know that there was a regiment that was also organized in the city of Ft. Smith, which was the 11th US Colored Infantry. Since Skullyville was closer to Ft. Smith geographically I looked at the names of soldiers who enlisted in the 11th US Colored Infantry first. But there was no soldier in the 11th USCT whose name was Jake Hall or Jacob Hall.

I then searched the 79th and I saw the name of a soldier called Jacob Hall. But was he the same person as Jake Hall from the Choctaw Nation?

The details about Jake Hall's origin were not clear, because in the military papers, it was recorded that Jacob Hall of the 79th was born in Alabama. I did take note however, that in his Indian Pioneer interview, Squire Hall indicated that his father was not born in Indian Territory.

Was he possibly the same man? The profile of Squire Hall said that his father was possibly from Mississippi. But did Squire Hall really know this? Squire was an infant when his father died, so he never knew him, nor had a conversation with him. And this man Jacob Hall indicated that he was born in Alabama. But the county he named does not exist.

From Service Record of Jacob Hall, 79th US Colored Infantry
Source:  HERE. 

In the 79th, I noticed additional soldiers with the Hall surname. Could they have been connected? I was quite surprised to notice that two of the other soldiers indicated that they were born in the Choctaw Nation, and in fact in Skullyville, the same community where Squire Hall and his father Jake were said to have lived. I also noted that Cesar and William were young enough to have possibly have been the sons of the elder Jacob Hall.


Though I was not certain that I had the right Jacob Hall, I do believe that t these two soldiers Cesar and William were most likely from the Hall plantation, with their ties to Skullyville, I.T. Though they enlisted on different days, the possibility was there that I had located two additional formerly enslaved men all from the same estate in the Choctaw Nation.

Other records in the Jacob Hall military service file suggest that he enlisted in the 1st Kansas Colored when the regiment was in Ft. Blount, Cherokee Nation. This places the soldier Jacob, in Indian Territory, and close to the same place where Jake the slave had lived--the Choctaw Nation. In fact his enlistment occurred in an area close to the Choctaw Nation. That part of the Cherokee Nation was not far from the northern part of the Choctaw Nation--the same area where the old Hall estate was located.

This muter-in roll document reveals that Jacob Hall was mustered into the Union Army while in Indian Territory. This reveals his presence in Indian Territory before enlistment.

One additional fact about Sqiure Hall's father Jake, was that he died before the war ended leaving his wife, Squire's mother Eliza with three young children still at home, whom she had to raise alone.  For this to be the same man I had to learn whether this soldier Jacob survived the war. If he did, it was unlikely that he would be the father of Squire Hall.

I examined the military service records, and found what I was seeking. The soldier Jacob Hall who served in the 79th US Colored Infantry died before the unit was mustered out of service. The cause of death was typhoid, and the soldier died in January 1864.

Excerpt of Discharge document revealing the date of death for Jacob Hall

Jake Hall was said to have died during the war. This soldier Jacob Hall, died during the war, in Ft. Smith Arkansas after contracting typhoid.

The relationship between Jacob Hall and the other two soldiers Cesar and William is not known, but there is the possibility that they were related. It is clear that they most likely knew each other, because they all served in the same company of the same regiment. William enlisted in the same place as Jacob, and Cesar enlisted in nearby Ft. Smith.

Jacob Hall enlisted in the Union Army in Indian Territory. He enlisted in the same geographic area where two other men enlisted. All of the men were in the same company of the same regiments. The two younger men Cesar and William were born in fact in Skullyville and there is a possibility by their surnames that they may have been enslaved on the estate of Jos. R. Hall.

Jake Hall, father of Squire Hall, was said to have died during the Civil War. Jacob Hall the soldiers in the 79th died in November of 1864, during the years of the Civil War. There is a very strong possibility that Jake Hall the slave was Jacob Hall the soldier.

If that is the case, then my other questions were answered. The man said to have assisted in bringing a insurrection to an end, was the same man who also seized the moment when he could become a free man and to fight for the freedom of others. Perhaps during those few short months of his service he experience life and tasted freedom. He was able to transform himself and seize dignity as a freedom fighter, a status which enslavement would have never provided.

Jacob Hall the soldier won his battle, and died, though of disease, he died with dignity and for a cause.

I started out looking for one man who was part of a slave insurrection in the Civil War. I found a man who was a freedom fighter and a man who did not live to see freedom in the Territory, as death by disease shortened his life. And I found two other men, also men of Skullyville, who enlisted when freedom was close within grasp for them as well.

However, the desire for freedom evidenced by the uprising in 1861 clearly made an imprint on all of the Hall slaves, and on Jacob Hall as well.

This man, believed to the the father of Squire Hall, made a name for himself, not as a "loyal slave", but he was one who was his own man, and who also had the fire of freedom in his chest and on his mind.

These men, with their roots planted in Indian Territory, have long been forgotten by so many in the area where they lived, but hopefully these few documents and facts will reveal their fight for dignity and life and the right to live as free men, whether in the Choctaw Nation, or wherever their spirit and desires would take them.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Remembering Isaac Alexander an Oklahoma Freedman Who Fought At Honey Springs

Document from Service Record of Isaac Alexander, an Indian Territory Freedman who
enlisted in the Kansas Colored and who fought at Honey Springs.

This week marks the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Honey Springs, sometimes called the Gettysburg of the west. This battle was won by Union soldiers and the actions of the Kansas Colored were particularly noted when they charged through and pushed confederate regiments away and helped to save Ft. Gibson.

I became interested in learning the names of some of the Indian Territory Freedmen from either the Choctaw or Chickasaw Nation, as their contribution to this important battle should be known. I looked at the name of Isaac Alexander, because this man later distinguished himself during the post-Civil War years when he and others fought for the rights of Freedmen as citizens, especially in the Chickasaw Nation.

The surprise is that Isaac Alexander was a man of mature years, and was allowed to enlist in the Union Army in spite of his age. One cannot help but ask, what inspired this man to enlist to fight? How was he allowed to be mustered in? Was he physically up for the job? And of course how did he fare as a soldier?

Quite simply Isaac Alexander was born in the Chickasaw Nation and enlisted in the spring of 1863. He was promoted to the rank of Sgt, which suggests that there were some skills that merited this promotion. By looking at other soldiers in the regiment, he has to be clearly one of the oldest men to not only serve, but also to see battle as a Union Army soldier.

As I looked at his Civil War service record, I realized that he was present and actively serving when the 1st Kansas Colored fought at Honey Springs. However, in addition, I also noticed that his story was significant for another reason. 

By most standards, Isaac Alexander was "too old to fight.". Yet, he was allowed to enlist, and to serve. He would be with the regiment as Island Mound, Poison Springs, Cabin Creek and Honey Springs. He was elevated to Sergeant and clearly had important duties as a leader. Though committed to three years of service, age eventually caught up with Isaac Alexander and he was allowed be discharged a year early, in 1865.

Image Source: Fold 3

The unique story of this old man who was an active Freedom Fighter should be studied and told. Though forgotten by many, the descendants of this man are urged to learn how an old man yearning to be free would be proactive, and chose to fight for his own freedom when the chance came to do so. He is part of the large clan of Kemps and Alexanders in Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations. He is an unsung and forgotten hero. Perhaps his is a story whose time has come.

Enlisting in Kansas, and having seen battle at Island Mound Missouri, Poison Springs Arkansas, Cabin Creek and Honey Springs, the toll of war had to take its toll on his body. His age was the primary reason he was discharged early, as the document above illustrates.The the actions of a courageous man of advanced years, clearly illustrate the determination and spirit of the men of the Kansas Colored. It also reflects the spirit of all of the men of the US Colored Troops. 

This is a story of a man determined to breathe free air before he died, and when he could, he seized the moment, and became his own man. He would emerge in the following years as a leader in the Freedmen community as he continued to fight for equality and status of Indian Territory's Freedmen.

Isaac Alexander is one of many unsung heroes of the Civil War.. Let us keep his legacy alive as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of  Honey Springs.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Appreciating the Civil War Legacy of Choctaw Freedmen

Simon Clark was the first person admitted by the Dawes Commission as a Choctaw Freedman. He was a man of influence in his community and he was a leader as well among the Freedmen. However, beyond his history as a post Civil War leader, was the fact that Simon Clark was also a Freedom Fighter. He served in the 2nd Kansas Colored, which was later redesignated as the 83rd US Colored Infantry.

Often the soldiers from Indian Territory are overlooked when discussion of Civil War is mentioned. Less discussion arises when those who were enslaved are mentioned. However, it has been noted by a few historians that men from the Creek and Cherokee Nation enlisted in the Indian Home Guards as well as the Kansas Colored regiments.

However, fewer references are made when the soldiers came from the Choctaw Nation. But there were some who were Union soldiers and although their numbers were smaller, they should be acknowledged.

So far, some have been found in the 11th US Colored Infantry (Old), the 79th US Colored Infantry, the 83rd US Colored Infantry and the 54th US Colored Infantry. The participation of enslaved men from the Choctaw Nation should be presented. They participated in acts of resistance, and enrolled when given the chance to fight for their own freedom.


Caesar Hall is believed to have been living on the Hall plantation during the time that there was a slave uprising. Not much is really known about his role, however, there is the strong possibility that the spirit of resistance carried forth for him as he enlisted in the Union Army when opportunity presented itself. He lived in the Skullyville area of the northern part of the Choctaw Nation.

William Hall was another slave from the Skullyville Community. This area is not far from Ft. Smith Arkansas so when the opportunity presented itself, able bodied men from Skullyville took advantage, seized their freedom and enlisted in the Union Army.

The Newberry name is famlliar to many who research Chickasaw Nation history. Some Chickasaw Freedmen however, were actually born in the Choctaw Nation. Later enrolled as Chickasaws, the birthplace of Choctaw country is still noted on the enlistment records, such as for Aaron Newberry.

Like many soldiers, their enlistment put them face to face with danger. Some lost their lives. Others were gravely wounded. Richmond LaFleur (LeFlore) was one who would become severely wounded, suffering amputation of a wound and bringing about early discharge. 

Some of those who enlisted in the Union Army did not return to the Territory, choosing instead to begin a new life in neighboring states. As a result many will not be found on Dawes Rolls, for they chose to move away from the communities where they were once enslaved and begin a new life as free men.

 It should be noted that there are others who later lived in Choctaw communities after the war, and who were born in other states and later sold to Choctaws as slaves. Men such as Mobile Boyd and others are also honored as Union soldiers who lived in Choctaw country.

As additional men who enlisted in the Union Army from the Choctaw Nation are found the list will be amended. However, their service is noted and appreciated, and hopefully their legacy will not be lost.