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Cabin Creek Book Review

Brilliant Victory: The Second Civil War Battle of Cabin Creek, Indian Territory by Steven L. Warren

by Stephen W. Sylvia, Publisher
Copyright © 2004

Previously Published in: North South Trader’s Civil War Magazine,
Volume 30, No. 3, 2004
http://www.nstcivilwar.com/ 

 
In recent years Civil War historians have begun to turn their attention to the long-neglected campaigns of the Trans-Mississippi Theatre.  It is a refreshing turn of events for those of us who never tire of reading Civil War books and yet are bored with endless rewrites of the famous battles of the east.
 
The books on these western actions are introducing America to a new cast of characters whose deeds are no less worthy of ink than those who are familiar to us as family.  Although smaller in size, the actions of that theatre were often more bitter and fierce than their eastern counterparts.  Emotions ran high and hatreds ran deep between factions who had been foes for years.  Battles frequently ended with no quarter asked or granted.
 
Oklahoma native Steven L. Warren has shined history’s spotlight on one such little-known western battle, the Second Battle of Cabin Creek.  Three days before the main battle, on September 16, 1864, Confederate generals Richard Gano and Stand Watie, commanding a ragtag force of 2,000 Texan and Indian Rebels, engaged a detachment of the 1st Kansas Colored Regiment at Flat Rock.  The unlikely alliance of Watie’s Indians and Gano’s Indian fighters together under one flag against Union black troops is difficult to conceive.  Such was the nature of that arena of the war.
 
At Cabin Creek the Confederates ambushed and captured a large supply train of some 300 wagons and nearly 2,000 horses and mules in one of the most successful raids of the Trans-Mississippi Theatre.  Confederate Major General Edmund Kirby-Smith would later call it “one of the most brilliant raids of the entire war.”
 
Mr. Warren has been relic hunting and studying the Civil War for many years and has coupled that passion with his career experience as a journalist to author this work.  In addition to the traditional avenues of research, he spent many hours tramping the battlefield and interviewing many descendants of the battle’s participants from both sides, Union and Confederate.

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