Although there are some fine bits and pieces scattered around in journal articles and books, it appears my hunch was essentially correct that a scholarly, thorough, book length history of the war in the IT 1861-65 doesn't exist. As with other military figures who continue to receive a disproportionate amount of attention (i.e. Chamberlain at Gettysburg), Stand Watie appears to be 'that guy' for the IT. Me, I have a soft spot for Chilly McIntosh--love that name. I did get some opinions about a few books from a couple helpful avocational researchers. Although I don't feel the need to read one, it struck me that no one mentioned any of the many Albert Pike biographies. Overall, the general lack of impressive books really attests to the scholarly void for the region.
READING LIST AND COMMENTS:
- The American Indian As Participant in the Civil War by Annie Abel.
- The American Indian in the Civil War, 1862-1865 by Annie Abel.
- The American Indian and the End of the Confederacy 1863-1866 by Annie Abel.
comment: I've only glanced through Abel's many books, which look to have more breadth than detail.
- The Civil War on the Border (2 vols) by Wiley Britton.
- The Union Indian Brigade in the Civil War by Wiley Britton.
comment: These are valuable accounts by a participant who also consulted other contemporaries and official records.
- Red Fox: Stand Watie and the Confederate Indian Nations During the Civil War Years in Indian Territory by Wilfred Knight.
- The Civil War in the Indian Territory by Donald L. Rampp and Larry C. Rampp.
comment: I've been told Rampp covers the whole war, but isn't detailed. I'm reading Knight now. The consensus appears to be that, in relative terms, this is one of the better books covering military operations (and is thankfully less of a Watie worshipping work than some others). I was advised beforehand that Knight's work was far from perfect, but the errors and questionable assessments I found in the material I was most familiar with--the books first half--further attests to the need for modern scholarly attention to the IT.
- The Prairie Was on Fire: Eyewitness Accounts of the Civil War in the Indian Territory by Whit Edwards.
- The Confederate Cherokees: John Drew's Regiment of Mounted Rifles by W. Craig Gaines.
- Embattled Arkansas by Michael Banasik.
- Clarkson's Battalion (review) by David Haimerl.
comment: Both Banasik and Haimerl have very good material on units and 1862 operations. Banasik provides detailed accounts of the 1st and 2nd Indian Expeditions.
- Brilliant victory: The second Civil War battle of Cabin Creek, Indian Territory, September 19, 1864 by Steven L. Warren.
[Thanks to the guys on the Indian Territory in the Civil War board for their input]