Chustenahlah, OK

Date(s): December 26, 1861

Campaign(s): Operations in the Indian Territory [1861]

Battles in Campaign:


  • Confederate troops began a campaign to subdue the Native American Union sympathizers in Indian Territory and consolidate control.

  • Confederate forces had attacked Chief Opothleyahola’s band of Creeks and Seminoles at Round Mountain and Chusto-Talasah.

  • They planned to finish them off by assaulting them in their camp at Chustenahlah in a well-protected cove on Battle Creek.


  • Union: None 

  • Confederate: Col. James McQueen McIntosh

  • Indian: Chief Opothleyahola

Principal Forces:

  • Union: None

  • Confederate: McIntosh’s and Douglas Cooper’s brigades

  • Indian: Creek and Seminole


  • Col. James McQueen McIntosh and Col. Douglas H. Cooper, commanding the Indian Department, planned a combined attack with each of their columns moving on the camp from different directions.

  • McIntosh left Fort Gibson on December 22, 1861 with 1,380 men.

  • On the 25th, he learned that Cooper’s force could not join for a while, but McIntosh decided to attack the next day, despite being outnumbered.

  • McIntosh attacked the camp at noon on the 26th.

  • The Indian defenders were secluded in the underbrush along the slope of a rugged hill,.

  • As the Confederate attacked, the Creek and Seminole Indians fell back.

  • The retreat became a rout as the Indians reached their camp where they attempted to make a stand there but were forced away again.

  • The survivors fled with many going to Kansas where they found loyal Unionists.

  • Chief Opothleyahola’s band of Creeks and Seminoles mounted no resistance again.

Slide Presentation: None

Classification2: B

Casualties3: Unknown

  • Union:

  • Confederate:

Results: Confederate Victory

Battlefield Websites: 

  • The Battle of Chustenahlah - War of Rebellion

Lodging and Restaurants: Oklahoma Tourism

Recommended Resources:

1 National Park Service summary.

2 Classification:

  • A - having a decisive influence on a campaign and a direct impact on the course of the war

  • B - having a direct and decisive influence on their campaign

  • C - having observable influence on the outcome of a campaign

  • D - having a limited influence on the outcome of their campaign or operation but achieving or affecting important local objectives

3 Casualties are someone killed, injured, wounded, captured or missing.

Revised 04/12/2013