The Oklahoma Historical Society launches the
Oklahoma Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission


TULSA, Okla., (March 30, 2011) --- Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism will commemorate the American Civil War’s 150th Anniversary with two authentic cultural tours on April 2 and 16. Private group tours are also available throughout the year. All tours will highlight Civil War historical sites across the Cherokee Nation.

Guests will visit historic sites in the Cherokee Nation that played a significant role during the Civil War. The tours include a visit to historic Capitol Square in Tahlequah, Okla., to learn about the destruction by Confederate troops. Guests will also visit the Murrell Home, an antebellum home that survived the fires of the Civil War. Visitors will explore Fort Gibson Historic Site, which changed hands several times between the Union and Confederate forces. Guests will stop at Honey Springs Battle site, a turning point in the Civil War and the site of the largest battle fought between the states in Indian Territory.

“Cherokee Nation has an abundance of physical resources that played a significant role in shaping the Civil War in the region that represents both sides of the conflict,” said Molly Jarvis, Vice President of Cultural Tourism at Cherokee Nation Entertainment. “The Civil War anniversary is also a unique opportunity to work with the state of Oklahoma to recognize and honor the historic sites and locations from 150 years ago.”

The Oklahoma Historical Society recently launched The Oklahoma Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission that will begin commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War with events and programs planned for the next five years, from 2011 to 2015. The Commission will focus on education, discussion, and preservation efforts to ensure history is remembered today and preserved for the future.
 
The keynote event in 2011 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War will be a special reenactment of the Battle of Honey Springs. During the weekend of April 29-May 1, the original battlefield will once again shake with the roar of cannon, volley fire from thousands of muskets and ring to the clash of saber to saber combat. The Honey Springs Battlefield is located just north of Checotah, Okla. Several thousand re-enactors and spectators are expected to attend the event.

 

The Cherokee Nation Civil War History Tour Pricing


The 150th Anniversary Commemorative Cherokee Nation Civil War  History Tour pricing is tiered, subject to a tribal tax for both consumer and groups and includes adults (ages 12 to 61): $50.00 each; seniors (ages 62 and up): $45.00 each; children (ages 4 to 11): $20.00 each; and children (ages 3 and younger): Free. (Children 3 and younger are free only if they sit in a parent's lap and share a meal. A regular priced children's admission will apply for children to receive a seat and/or a meal.) Lunch is included in the price of each ticket.

Special group rates are available. In addition to experiencing the Civil War History Tour, groups also have a variety of activities to add-on to their trip that can be sold separately or together. Additional activities range from basket weaving, storytelling workshops and Geneology workshops to traditional pottery workshops, language and Syllabary workshops, and traditional Cherokee cuisine among others.

 

Cherokee Nation Civil War History Timeline and Tour


The Cherokee Nation, while not a state, was involved in the Civil War as a foreign ally. Some Cherokee troops were aligned with the Union and some Cherokee troops were aligned with the Confederacy. The result was a war within a war that destroyed much of the Cherokee Nation. Key events in the Cherokee Nation Civil War history timeline include:

 
- May 17, 1861, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation John Ross issued neutrality proclamation reminding the tribe of obligations to the United States.
 
- Aug. 21, 1861, Chief Ross and the Executive Council called a general assembly of the tribe in Tahlequah, Okla. The approximate 4,000 men attending the convention voted by acclamation to join the South.
 
- Oct. 7, 1861, Treaty with the South concluded and signed at Murrell Home in Park Hill, Okla.
 
- Oct. 28, 1861, Cherokee National Council issued declaration of war with the United States.
 
- July 15, 1862, Chief Ross taken into custody by Union officers.

- Aug. 3, 1862, Chief Ross escorted out of the Cherokee Nation into Kansas from where he traveled to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
 
- Aug. 21, 1862, Stand Waite elected Principal Chief by first Confederate Cherokee Convention. The election was not valid because a majority of Cherokees did not vote.
 
- Feb. 20, 1863, Loyal Ross Cherokees revoked the treaty with the South and pledged loyalty to the Union at an emergency session of the Cherokee National Council. In addition, all Confederate officers were removed from office, slaves were emancipated and John Ross was reaffirmed as Principal Chief.
 
- July 17, 1863, Battle of Honey Springs in Creek Nation.
 
- Oct. 28, 1863, Stand Waite and his men burn the Cherokee Capitol buildings in Tahlequah and Principal Chief John Ross’ home in Park Hill, Okla.
 
- Sept. 1, 1865, Chief John Ross returns to Cherokee Nation.
 
- July 19, 1866, Terms of reconstruction treaty agreed upon and signed by Cherokee delegation. The treaty was ratified by the United States Congress on July 27 and further proclaimed by August 11, 1866.
 

The Cherokee Nation Civil War History Tour begins with a visit to historic Capitol Square in Tahlequah, Okla., where guests learn of Confederate Brigadier General Stand Watie’s march through town, burning the Cherokee government buildings as he went. Guests will visit the Murrell Home, the only antebellum plantation home left in Oklahoma and one of the few in the area to survive the fires of the Civil War. Visitors will also see the room in the Murrell Home where Cherokee Nation Principal Chief John Ross signed allegiance to the Confederate States. Visitors will then tour Fort Gibson Historic Site to learn the history of the Fort during the War Between the States as it changed hands several times between the troops; and Honey Springs Battle site, the location of the largest battle in Indian Territory, where the Union beat the Confederacy in the turning point of the Civil War in Indian Territory. Guest will also experience additional historic Civil War events in what was once Indian Territory. Interpretive actors will be on hand to reenact several of the stories.

The Civil War History Tour will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will depart from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa located at 777 West Cherokee Street, Catoosa, OK 74015.

The Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism program presents its four award-winning tours now through October including the Cherokee History Tour, Will Rogers History Tour, Civil War History Tour and Cherokee Old Settler Tour featuring authentic cultural sites and historic locations.

In addition, specialty and event-related cultural tours will be presented during the season to coincide with a variety of festivals and events. The event related tours feature a unique, cultural-filled itinerary that will showcase Cherokee-centric events such as the Cherokee National Holiday. Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism will also offer a variety of specialty tours including a return of History After Dark.

For ticketing, complete tour details and additional information on the Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism program, call (877) 779-6977 or visit http://www.CherokeeTourismOK.com.

 
 
About The Oklahoma Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission
The Oklahoma Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission will commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War from 2011 to 2015. The Commission will focus on education, discussion, and preservation efforts to ensure history is remembered today and preserved for the future. The web address to follow all of the events and program associated with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in Oklahoma is hap://www.okcivilwar.org. Follow on Twitter and Facebook at “OK Civil War 150”.
 
About Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism Department
The Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism Department is managed by Cherokee Nation Entertainment and was created in 2007 to promote the story of the Cherokee people. Efforts by the Cherokee Nation include developing guided community and educational tours, creating tourism partnerships and programs throughout northeastern Oklahoma, and launching a new Cherokee tourism-specific website. For more information, please visit http://www.cherokeetourismok.com.
 
About Cherokee Nation Entertainment
Cherokee Nation Entertainment is the gaming, hospitality, retail and tourism entity of the Cherokee Nation. Cherokee Nation Entertainment owns and operates the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, six Cherokee Casinos, Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs, three hotels, two golf courses and many other retail operations in northeastern Oklahoma. For more information, please visit http://www.cherokeestarrewards.com.

About Cherokee Nation
The Cherokee Nation is the sovereign operating government of the Cherokee people.  It is a federally recognized tribe of more than 300,000 Cherokee citizens, with its capital located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Employing more than 8,000 people, Cherokee Nation’s annual economic impact in Oklahoma and surrounding areas is more than $1 billion dollars. To learn more, please visit http://www.cherokee.org.