|Graphic created by Terry Ligon © 2011|
Many men fought for their family's emancipation from the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole Nations during the Civil War. When people think of the Civil War, rarely does Indian Territory or the Five Slave Holding Tribes become part of the conversation.
Names like Sugar George, Bynum Colbert and Mobile Boyd are unknown to most Civil War scholars but their contributions are just as important to the story of people willing to die for their freedom.
There are three main battles that occurred in Indian Territory that slaves played from the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole nations fought with heroism; their story is slowly coming to light.
|Brazil Cemetery, Mobile BOYD Photo by Terry Ligon © 2011|
|Agency Cemetery, Sugar T. GEORGE|
|Indian Journal April 24, 1878 p5c2|
It is important to understand how serving in the military shaped the future leaders in what would become Freedmen communities. Men like Sugar T. George became significant leaders in their community and nation. Regretfully the Five Slave Holding Tribes don't seem capable of including men like Sugar George, Bynum Colbert and Isaac Alexander in their history despite the significant role they played in their respective nation.
|M1301 #1477 Bynum COLBERT|
|Military Index Card Bynum COLBERT|
As segments of the United States population "celebrate" the 150th year since the beginning of the "War of Rebellion" we are reminded that many brave men enslaved by the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek and Seminole Nations fought for the freedom of themselves, members of their family and the rights of citizenship in the nation of their birth.
The men presented here represent many more who were compelled to fight for their freedom and illustrate how leaders would emerge from the oppressive yoke of slavery when given the opportunity. Let us celebrate them and remember to tell their story!