Choctaw Confederates: The American Civil War in Indian Country
National Archives Museum
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When the Choctaw Nation was forcibly resettled in Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma in the 1830s, it was joined by enslaved Black people—the tribe had owned enslaved Blacks since the 1720s. In Choctaw Confederates, author Fay A. Yarbrough reveals that, while sovereignty and states’ rights mattered to the Choctaw Nation’s leaders, the survival of slavery also determined the Nation’s support of the Confederacy. Yarbrough examines the experiences of Choctaw soldiers and notes that although their enthusiasm waned as the war persisted, military service allowed them to embrace traditional masculine roles that were disappearing in a changing political and economic landscape. By drawing parallels between the Choctaw Nation and the Confederate states, Yarbrough looks beyond the traditional binary of the Union and Confederacy and reconsiders the historical record.
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