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Native soldiers in the Civil War Nov. 17

November 11, 2009

The documentary, 'Indian Warriors: The Untold Story of the Civil War," will be shown at Colorado State University in connection with Native American Awareness Month. Greg Smoak, a CSU history professor, will discuss Native involvement in the war.

Tuesday, Nov. 17, noon
Lory Student Center
Room 213-215

The documentary Indian Warriors: The Untold Story of the Civil War, will be shown in connection with Native American Awareness Month on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at noon in the Lory Student Center, Room 213-215.

Greg Smoak, Ph.D., a CSU history professor, will set the stage for the documentary by discussing the time period and Native involvement in the war.  Smoak will be on hand after the film's showing to answers questions.  

20,000 strong

More than 20,000 Native Americans fought in the Civil War. The film features historical accounts of Native soldiers participating in the Civil War and interviews with descendents of Indian Civil War soldiers. 

How Native Americans came into service as soldiers

This compelling documentary first aired on the History Channel in May of 2007. The film describes the milieu in which Native Americans came into service as soldiers during the Civil War. The documentary chronicles the lives of three warriors:

Union Civil War General Ely Parker, who was from the Seneca Tribe.

  • Ely Parker, who served as Ulysses S. Grant's military secretary and a Union Civil War general 
  • Stand Watie, a Cherokee leader who sided with the Confederacy and became a Confederate general
  • Henry Berry Lowery, who helped his tribe survive starvation at the end of the war by stealing food and goods from wealthy Southern planters, which he shared with both Whites and Indians

An interesting endnote to the documentary is that although Native Americans were used by both the Union and the Confederacy during the war, afterwards they were seen, not as allies, but as obstacles to progress. 

Greg Smoak, history professor

The facilitator and speaker at this event, Greg Smoak, is on the Board of Directors for the National Council on Public History; the American Indian Students Scholarship Committee; the Western History Association; and the Working Group on Evaluating Public History Scholarship. His most recent publication, "Beyond the Academy: Making the New Western History Matter in Local Communities," will be published in the November, 2009 issue of The Public Historian.

- Complete schedule of CSU Native American Awareness Month events.
- Sponsored by the Native American Cultural Center.

Contact: Ty Smith
Phone: (970) 491-1332