Peace and the Plains Tribes
DURING THE WAR several intertribal councils had been held by the various tribes of the Indian Territory in order to provide for closer co-operation in carrying on the conflict and to establish a greater solidarity among the Indians as a whole. Such councils had been held at Armstrong Academy in the Choctaw country both in 1863 and 1864. In the spring of 1865 the tribes determined to hold a grand council at some point farther west, closer to the "prairie Indians," large numbers of whom, it was hoped, could be induced to attend. The site first chosen was Council Grove, a short distance west of where Oklahoma City is now located, but fearing that the Federal army officers had learned of their plans, the Indians changed the meeting place to a point called Camp Napoleon on the Washita near the site of the present town of Verden.
Here, on May 26, 1865, representatives of some twenty tribes and bands met and formed an Indian confederation designed to promote perpetual peace and friendly relations with each other as well as to preserve intact the once powerful Indian race and by united efforts to gain sufficient strength "to command respect and to assert and maintain our rights."
In June, following the grand council at Camp Napoleon, another session was held at Armstrong Academy. Here the executives of the Five Civilized Tribes constituted themselves a committee to extend a welcome to all tribes and bands and to issue an urgent invitation to those Indians who were allied