Hay Camp Action

This battle was also referred to as the “Battle of Flat Rock.” When Major General Sterling price of the Confederate States started a raid from Arkansas through Missouri toward Kansas City and Fort Leavenworth, Brigadier General Richard M. Gano and Brigadier General Stand Watie, also of Confederate forces, were ordered to make a diversionary demonstration up the valley of the Grand River above Fort Gibson. With a combined force of about 2,000 men, Gano and Watie came across a Federal Hay Camp on September 16, 1864, on the Fort Scott-Fort Gibson military road about fifteen miles above Fort Gibson. Three companies of infantry, one an African-American unit, were cutting and stacking hay. Watie and Gano carefully encircled the camp, captured eighty-five Federals, and killed as many more, mostly African-Americans. Only a few Federals escaped. The Confederates burned about 3,000 tons of hay, together with the wagons and mowing machines. From this success, Watie and Gano moved to Cabin Creek, where they captured on September 19 a Federal wagon train valued at $1,500,000.

From Civil War Sites in Oklahoma by Muriel H. Wright and LeRoy H. Fischer

© Oklahoma Historical Society