When: July 8th
Where: Otterbein University. Towers Hall 3rd floor. Room 318. Westerville Ohio 43081. Please go to the “About the COCWRT” tab for more information.
Speaker: Zachary Cowsert
Topic: “The Civil War in Indian Territory” In early months of 1861, Native-Americans of the “Five Civilized Tribes” (Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole) looked on with increasing fear and consternation as the Union tore itself apart. These proud tribes, once residents of the southeastern United States, had been removed several decades prior to Indian Territory (modern Oklahoma). As the nascent Confederacy grew, Native-Americans faced a crossroads: should they ally with the South, attempt neutrality, or remain loyal to the United States? In this presentation, Zac Cowsert explores the political dilemma faced by Indian leaders in the summer of 1861, and how those decisions produced one of the most destructive Indian wars in American history, leaving Indian Territory in ruins and its inhabitants destitute or dead.
Zac Cowsert graduated from Centenary College of Louisiana with a bachelor’s degree in history and political science. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in history at West Virginia University, where he also earned his master’s degree in history. His master’s thesis explored the Civil War in Indian Territory, a topic upon which he hopes to build his dissertation. Zac has worked previously for the National Park Service at Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park. He contributes to Civil Discourse, a blog of the Civil War era, and his work has appeared in Hallowed Ground magazine of the Civil War Trust.