Honey Springs to hold annual memorial

Honey Springs to hold annual memorial
(Honey Springs Battlefield and Visitor's Center) Honey Springs Battlefield and Visitor’s Center will hold its annual memorial service honoring the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Honey Springs near Checotah, Oklahoma July 14 at 10:30 a.m.

Jason Salsman/Multimedia Producer

Civil War battle was largest in Indian Territory

CHECOTAH, Oklahoma — Honey Springs Battlefield and Visitor’s Center will hold its annual memorial service honoring the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Honey Springs near Checotah July 14 at 10:30 a.m.

The memorial service is in remembrance of the largest Civil War engagement in Indian Territory. Fought July 17, 1863, the Battle of Honey Springs included approximately 9,000 troops, most of which were American Indians and African Americans.

This year’s speaker is J. Blake Wade, director and chief executive officer of the Native American Cultural and Educational Authority and former executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Last year’s special guest was Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief James Floyd.

Honey Springs Battlefield and Visitor Center Director Adam Lynn talked about how important it is that the public understands how much of a tie the battlefield has to Native history.

“It’s extremely important. The fact that the battle was fought on Muscogee lands between mostly American Indians fighting for their cultures and homes is one of, if not the most important aspects of the battle and the Civil War in Indian Territory,” Lynn said.

After Wade’s presentation, colors will be retired and a light lunch will be served in the Visitor’s Center. Special guided tours of the site also will be available on the day of the service, courtesy of the students in Dr. James Finck’s historical interpretation class at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

All guests are welcome to attend.

Honey Springs Battlefield and Visitor’s Center is located east of U.S. Hwy. 69 between Oktaha and Rentiesville. The Visitor’s Center is located on a hill within close proximity to the Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame in Rentiesville. Take the second left after reaching the Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame Museum (driving from the west). Directions to the battlefield will be provided upon arrival at the Visitor’s Center.

For more information regarding the memorial service and Honey Springs Battlefield and Visitor’s Center, email: honeysprings@okhistory.org or alynn@okhistory.org, or call: 918-473-5572.

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