|Confederate troops had undertaken a campaign to subdue the Native American Union sympathizers
in Indian Territory and consolidate control. They had attacked Chief Opothleyahola’s band of Creeks and
Seminoles earlier at Round Mountain and Chusto-Talasah. Now, they wanted to finish them off by assaulting them
in their camp at Chustenahlah in a well-protected cove on Battle Creek. 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, with 1,380 men. On
the 25th, he was informed that Cooper’s force could not join for a while, but he decided to attack the next day,
despite being outnumbered. McIntosh attacked the camp at noon on the 26th. The Union defenders were
secluded in the underbrush along the slope of a rugged hill, but as the Confederate attack came forward, the
Native Americans began to fall back, taking cover for a while and then moving back. The retreat became a rout as
the Federals reached their camp. They attempted to make a stand there but were forced away again. The
survivors fled; many went all the way to Kansas where they found loyal Unionists. Chief Opothleyahola’s band of
Creeks and Seminoles mounted no resistance again.