The War in Indian Territory
DISTURBED AS CONDITIONS had been in the Indian Territory in the years immediately preceding the outbreak of the war, the situation became even worse after the secession of the southern states had actually begun and after it had become clear that conflict was at hand. As early as February 7, 1861, the Choctaw council passed resolutions expressing their regret over the growing quarrel between North and South and their hope that the Union might be preserved. At the same time the Choctaws declared their desire to join with the southern states in case the Union should be dissolved, and they assured the people of Texas and Arkansas that they desired to continue friendly relations.
The Chickasaws also expressed their sympathy with the South, but the remainder of the Five Civilized Tribes were considerably divided. The Cherokees, bordered on one side by the slave states of Arkansas and Missouri and on the other by the free state of Kansas, were in a particularly vulnerable position. Moreover, the bitter and long-standing quarrel between the Ross and the Ridge-Boudinot parties made any unified action virtually impossible. The Creeks were also torn by factions, and to a certain extent so were the Seminoles.
The Confederacy was early alive to the importance of securing an alliance with these five great tribes of Indians. It was