In Indian Territory the Civil War is a story best told through shades of gray rather than black and white or heroes and villains. Since neutrality appeared virtually impossible, the vast majority of territory residents chose a side, doing so for myriad reasons and not necessarily out of affection for either the Union or the Confederacy. Indigenous residents found themselves fighting to protect their unusual dual status as communities distinct from the American citizenry yet legal wards of the federal government.
The Civil War and Reconstruction in Indian Territory is a nuanced and authoritative examination of the layers of conflicts both on and off the Civil War battlefield. It examines the military front and the home front; the experiences of the Five Nations and those of the agency tribes in the western portion of the territory; the severe conflicts between Native Americans and the federal government and between Indian nations and their former slaves during and beyond the Reconstruction years; and the concept of memory as viewed through the lenses of Native American oral traditions and the modern evolution of public history. These carefully crafted essays by leading scholars such as Amanda Cobb-Greetham, Clarissa Confer, Richard B. McCaslin, Linda W.
Reese, and F. Todd Smith will help teachers and students better understand the Civil War, Native American history, and Oklahoma history.