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The Indian Home Guard were volunteer infantry regiments recruited from the Five Civilized Tribes of Indian Territory to support the Union during the American Civil War.

The leaders of all of the Five Civilized Tribes signed treaties with the Confederacy at the start of the Civil War. Many of the tribal members, however, did not support the Confederacy, and, not being organized, were driven from Indian Territory with a large loss of life. Most fled to Kansas and Missouri. Many of the "Loyal" Indians volunteered for Union duty in order to get control back from the Confederate generals. The Indian Home Guard regiments fought mostly in Indian Territory and Arkansas. It was mainly due to these Loyal Indians that the Five Civilized Tribes were able to retain any of their lands following the end of the Civil War.

Indian Home Guard Regiments[]

1st Regiment, Indian Home Guard
Organized at Le Roy, Kansas, May 22, 1862.
2nd Regiment, Indian Home Guard
Organized on Big Creek and at Five-Mile Creek, Kansas, June 22 to July 18, 1862. "Concurrently with the 1st Regiment of Indian Home Guards in May of 1862, this regiment, commanded by Colonel John Ritchie, consisted of one company each of Delaware, Kickapoo, Quapaw, Seneca, and Shawnee, two companies of Osage, and two of Cherokee. It took longer to organize, due to the political disagreements of the various government agents involved in the negotiations. They were attached to the first Indian Expedition given the task of clearing the territory north of the Arkansas River of Confederates. Lack of support from higher command, as well as “in fighting” and "in breeding" among the colonels, caused the expedition to be withdrawn."[1]
3rd Regiment, Indian Home Guard
Organized at Carthage, Missouri, September 16, 1862.
4th Regiment, Indian Home Guard
Organization commenced but not completed. Men transferred to other organizations.

See also[]


  • Abel, Annie Heloise. The American Indian in the Civil War 1862–1865. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1992. ISBN 0-8032-5919-0.
  • Britton, Wiley. The Union Indian Brigade in the Civil War. Kansas City: Franklin Hudson Publishing Co., 1922.
  • Warde, Mary Jane. 'Now the Wolf Has Come': The Civilian Civil War in the Indian Territory. The Chronicles of Oklahoma, Vol 71 (Spring 1993).


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