American Indians in the Civil War? Petersburg National Battlefield is Part of the Story

The 150th Anniversary of the Civil War is nearly here and a recent event at Petersburg National Battlefield underscored a bit of history that often escapes much notice—the role of American Indians in the conflict.

Estimates of the number of American Indians who fought for either the Union or the Confederacy vary widely; several sources cite numbers ranging from about 6,000 to over 20,000 men. One example occurred at Petersburg, Virginia, and that story has recently received some renewed attention.

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