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Cabin Creek Battlefield

Historic Sites, Monuments, Landmarks, and Public Art (National Historic Landmark)
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One of the last major battles of the Civil War was the Battle of Cabin Creek, which ended up being a Confederate victory. In September 1864, General Stand Waite along with William L. Cabell, captured a Union supply wagon train worth around a million dollars. This marked the first battle in which African American and White men fought side by side. Now a historic landmark, the battlefield can be visited daily from dusk until dawn. This would be a great opportunity to walk back in time where an actual Civil War battle took place.

Cabin Creek, OK
Cabin Creek, OK - Historical marker
General Stand Watie
William L. Cabell
Colonel James M. Williams


Colonel James M. Williams of the First Kansas Colored Infantry led a Union supply train from Fort Scott, Kansas, to Fort Gibson, Oklahoma  which at that time was considered Indian territory. When he got close to the crossing of Cabin Creek, he learned that Confederate Colonel Stand Watie, with about two thousand men intended to attack his men. Watie was waiting for about fifteen hundred reinforcements under the command of Brigadier General William L. Cabell to join him before attacking the supply train. Cabell could not make it in time due to the high waters of the river from rainfall days before. Williams fought off the Confederates with artillery fire and two cavalry charges. The water had receded enough for these men to take the upper advantage.

The Confederates still took the wagon train, and continued to Fort Gibson where they delivered the supplies, making it possible for the Union forces to maintain their presence in Indian Territory and take the offensive that resulted in a victory at Honey Springs and the fall of Fort Smith, Arkansas. If it has not been for the loss of the train this would not have been considered a Confederate victory. The union would have also had the upper advantage by having the supplies that they needed to defeat the Confederates.

Even if this was not an assumed victory, it was enough to give the Confederate troops hope and allowed Watie to continue his career until June of 1865. Two months after Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender in Virginia, Waite finally decided that the war was lost and he surrendered his command at Doaksville, in Oklahoma Territory near Fort Towson on June 23, 1865, he was the last Confederate general to surrender.

The Cabin Creek Battlefield was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. A monument to the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry was erected on the battlefield on 7 July 2007. Driving through the site visitors can see many of the battle site monuments maintained by the Oklahoma Historical Society and Friends of the Cabin Creek. Visitors may also read up on battle site history, provided by signs detailing  the Cabin Creek battle stories. Every three years, there are reenactments of the 1864 Confederate victory in Big Cabin of the parks grounds.


442370 East 367 Road
Big Cabin, OK 74332
Phone Number
Battlefield Hours Open daily from dawn to dusk. Free Admission
  • Colonial History
  • Cultural History
  • Environmental History
  • Native American History
  • State Historical Societies and Museums
This location was created on 2016-10-16 by A. Ellen Mounts, Concord University; Instructed by Jonathan Berkey.   It was last updated on 2016-10-17 by A. Ellen Mounts, Concord University; Instructed by Jonathan Berkey.

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