On July 17, 1863, two Civil War armies met on a battlefield near present-day Checotah.
The Northern army had two advantages. They had 12 pieces of heavy artillery, but more importantly, they had a unit of the First Kansas Colored Infantry composed of African Americans fighting for freedom. The Southern army, consisting primarily of Indian troops, had only four pieces of artillery. With a “rebel yell” the Confederates charged, but the members of the First Kansas held their lines and won the battle.
On one day, in one place, men risked their lives for a cause greater than themselves.
– Bob Blackburn, Oklahoma Historical Society