The Civil War... in Oklahoma? ~ Part One

Just a short few months into this blog, a cousin found me from a photo I posted of our mutual relative, William Elias Hohimer. We shared information through email for quite some time. I was recently looking at some of the information my cousin J.H. shared with me and knew I was long overdo organizing and posting some of this information. My father, not biological but the man who raised me and I call dad, was born in Yale, Payne, Oklahoma. I grew up believing there is "Cherokee Blood" in the family, and that the family lived on Indian Territory there in Oklahoma.

One of attachments which was sent to me was "The Site of the Battle of Round Hill, 1861 by Angie Debo." I understand this excerpt was taken from "The Chronicles of Oklahoma." My cousin said he found this on the internet. Upon reading the first page of twenty pages, I realized this was where my father was born and spent a good portion of his childhood. The article speaks of Indian Territory in Oklahoma, and the Civil War.

I may have mentioned before that history was not one of my favorite subjects in school. Along with a lot of other people dates, names and places didn't matter much to me. That was unfortunate because now I have so much to learn. I am sure there are many of us in the same boat. Names and dates just weren't exciting. I am not sure if even a story back then would have meant much to me. Back in those days I was only interested in the here and now.

The Civil War, as far as I remembered, happened in the eastern part of the U.S., the North verses the South, the Union verses the Confederacy. Never in my wildest dreams did I have even an inkling that any part of this war was fought in Oklahoma. According to this article Oklahoma was not only in the Civil War, but suffered the most as far as human tragedy. I am going to relate the story from this article in several posts, to help me better understand and to share with those who may be interested.

The US relinquished Indian Territory in Oklahoma as soon as the war broke out and the Confederacy ended up taking this area over. Most of the Indian tribes went with the new government but you know that there are always rebels, right? Opothle Yahola became the leader of those Indian rebels who didn't want to follow suit. They developed a camp site and then were attacked by Texas confederates and Indians. The rebel group fled to the protection of the Kansas Union where they were held with "indescribable privations until Federal troops recaptured the Indian Territory.

Three battles were fought in this area, the first in 1861. It was called "The Battle of Round Hill" or "The Battle of Red Fork." The third battle is when the rebels fled to Kansas. Years later these battles were also known as "The Engagement at Round Mountain."

What is now Yale, Oklahoma had a land rush in 1893. The white settlers of that time developed a tradition that these battles had been fought on their land. The Twin Mountains were just west of Yale, and just north of the Pawnee County line was where a plow overturned and left what could have been debris of a battlefield and an Indian camp. The state's first historian, Joseph B. Thoburn stated "this battlefield was probably within the present limits of Pawnee or Payne Counties."

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Copyright © 2010 By Cheryl Palmer


  1. This is fascinating, Cheryl, thanks for sharing!

  2. Well done, Cheryl! Looking forward to the rest of the story.

    Thought you might like this link to Civil War Battle Summaries by State via the National Parks Service.

    There were a few battles in OK.

    ~ Regina

  3. Thank you Betty and Regina! I am telling it as it unfolds to me...Regina thank you for the link, that is great! I know I could research more on the net, but right now I want it to be as it unfolds with me, a bit at a time.

    1. Hi Cheryl, Hal Fleming was my great-uncle. His sister Madge was my grandmother. Her son Bob, my father. I wonder if we have ever met as children? Thanks for all the information on your site. I've got a lot of this same stuff, just starting to think about getting organized. Kathy Davenport


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