The Texarkana Museums System welcomes author W. Dale Weeks presenting his latest work, Cherokee Civil Warrior: Chief John Ross and the Struggle for Tribal Sovereignty, on Sunday, April 16 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the P. J. Ahern Home, 403 Laurel Street, Texarkana, Arkansas. This event is free to the public, but seating is limited so registration is recommended. For more information or to register, please visit TexarkanaMuseums.org/Events or call 903-793-4831.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, Dr. Rhesa W. Read and other Bowie County men enlisted in the 29th Texas Cavalry regiment. The 29th was sent to the Indian Territory in early 1863 and, between February and December 1863, the men from Bowie County found themselves involved in a struggle much broader than the Civil War. Dr. Read and the men from Bowie County found themselves caught in the middle of a diplomatic struggle for Indian sovereignty, not a war for the perpetuation of slavery.
Dr. Weeks’ book, Cherokee Civil Warrior, describes what Read and the men from Bowie County experienced in Indian Territory. Weeks’ research included the letters of Read written during the conflict.
“Confederate soldiers from Bowie County pointed me to this story, so I felt obligated to tell it.”
This story changes what is known about the Civil War in Indian Territory, and about U.S. Indian policy all within the lens of local history.
“Because the story of the Cherokees impacted the story of the North Texans, I needed an accurate account of what happened to the Cherokees. Therefore, I went straight to the Cherokee sources,” added Weeks. “Now, I can better understand why the men from Bowie County misunderstood the Native American troops they fought with and against.”
W. Dale Weeks earned his Bachelors and Master’s degrees from Texas A&M University – Texarkana and his PhD from Texas A&M University in College Station. He lived in Texarkana for thirteen years where he taught in the Liberty Eylau Independent School District and in the Texarkana Arkansas School District. He now teaches U.S. History at Blinn College in Bryan, Texas, and serves as a visiting lecturer at TAMU – College Station.
The P. J. Ahern Home is operated by the Texarkana Museums System. The Ahern Home offers events and activities every fourth Saturday of the Month. Programming and events at the P. J. Ahern Home are supported in part by funding from the Texarkana, Arkansas A & P Commission. For more information on this or upcoming events, please visit TexarkanaMuseums.org or call us at 903-793-4831.