Battle of Cabin Creek

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Battle of Cabin Creek

July 1, 1863


July 2, 1863


Mayes County, Oklahoma


Trans-Mississippi Theater


Operations to Control Indian Territory


Union victory

33 star flag.png
Conf Navy Jack.png

Detachments from 9 units

2 regiments
Detachments from 2 units


James M. Williams
Colonel, USA

Stand Watie
Colonel, CSA



1,600-1,800 est.


Killed: 23

Killed: 65


Col. James M. Williams of the First Kansas Colored Infantry led a Union supply train from Fort Scott, Kansas, to Fort Gibson, Oklahoma (then Indian Territory). As he approached the crossing of Cabin Creek, he learned that Confederate Col. Stand Watie, with about 1,600 to 1,800 men intended to assault him there. Watie was waiting for about 1,500 reinforcements under the command of Brig. Gen. William L. Cabell to join him before attacking the supply train. Cabell, however, was detained due to high water on Grand River. Cabin Creek also had high water, preventing a crossing at first, but when it had receded enough, Williams drove the Confederates off with artillery fire and two cavalry charges. The wagon train continued to Fort Gibson and 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.