Honey Springs Battlefield presentation “The Soldiers of the First Kansas Volunteer Infantry” by Art T. Burton

Oklahoma Historical Society - July 8, 2021 3:27 pm

CHECOTAH, Okla. — Honey Springs Battlefield will host “The Soldiers of the First Kansas Volunteer Infantry,” a special presentation about the contributions of the First Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. The program will be held at the Honey Springs Battlefield Visitor Center on Friday, July 23, at 7 p.m. Retired professor and award-winning author Art T. Burton will speak about the soldiers of the First Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment who fought bravely at the Battle of Honey Springs on July 17, 1863.

The First Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment soldiers were well trained and equipped. In October 1862 they were attacked by Confederate forces near Butler, Mo., in the Battle of Island Mound, making them the first African American Union regiment to shed blood in action against the enemy during the Civil War. The unit also saw action at Cabin Creek, Indian Territory, before arriving at Honey Springs, Indian Territory.

Art T. Burton specializes in research of Black Americans in the Wild West and how they shaped history. He was a history professor at Prairie State College and South Suburban College for 38 years until his retirement in 2015. He also worked as an administrator of African American Student Affairs for Benedictine University, Loyola University and Columbia College, all in Chicago. As a Wild West historian, his career has led him to participate on panels, appear in documentaries for the History Channel, and give presentations across the nation.

As an author, he distinguished himself in 1991 when he wrote the first book about Black American and American Indian outlaws and lawmen in the Wild West. He is the author of “Black, Red, and Deadly: Black and Indian Gunfighters of the Indian Territory, 1870–1907.” This title was followed by his next book, “Black, Buckskin, and Blue: African American Scouts and Soldiers on the Western Frontier,” written in 1999, which was also a first of its kind. Burton has since written two biographical works: “Black Gun, Silver Star: The Life and Legend of Frontier Marshal Bass Reeves” (2008) and “Cherokee Bill: Black Cowboy—Indian Outlaw” (2020). In his most recent book, Burton gives great detail on how a veteran of the First Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Deputy US Marshal Ike Rogers, captured the notorious Indian Territory outlaw Cherokee Bill. His work has brought him countless awards and recognitions, including earning a Living Legend Award from the Bare Bones Film Festival in Muskogee in 2015.

For more information regarding the presentation and Honey Springs Battlefield, please email [email protected] or [email protected], or call 918-473-5572. Honey Springs Battlefield is located east of U.S. Highway 69 between Oktaha and Rentiesville. The visitor 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).

Honey Springs Battlefield is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.


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