|19th Century map of Indian Territory|
News reached Fort Smith on the state's far western border 150 years ago tomorrow of a plan by troops from Texas, which had already seceded, to move on the U.S. Army posts in the Indian Territory of today's Oklahoma. The forts were important points of supply and defense that would critical in the war that everyone new was coming. The Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, Seminole and Cherokee Nations created a buffer zone between the Southern state of Texas and the Northern state of Kansas. Their control would likely lead to control of the Indian Territory as well.
The following account from Fort Smith appeared on the front page of the New York Herald on February 7, 1861: