Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cabin Creek Preservation?

The site of the First and Second Battles of Cabin Creek is currently commemorated in a tiny park near Pensacola, Oklahoma, consisting of about ten acres. There is no visitor center and essentially no attempt at interpreting the battle actions that occurred there; a few granite markers line the roadway but they serve little purpose other than to inform the visitor of the units that participated in the actions. Since the park itself contains just a small percentage of the actual battlefields, I've long thought of it as a prime candidate for further preservation.

As a member of the Oklahoma Historical Society, I receive the organization’s official journal, The Chronicles of Oklahoma. Every issue includes the minutes of the Society’s quarterly meeting. Reading minutes is one of my odd pleasures, and I found the following part in the most recent issue to be quite informative:

Consideration of projects for the Civil War Sesquicentennial. Bob Blackburn reported the Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission will hold its next meeting on April 30 at Honey Springs. He asked for at least four top priority projects, supported by the board, to submit to the commission at the meeting on Saturday and suggested the following: (1) finishing the visitor’s center at Honey Springs, (2) acquiring two parcels of land at the Cabin Creek Battlefield, (3) hosting an academic conference at the History Center in 2013 on the War in the West, and (4) changing reenactment schedules, having the Honey Springs reenactment in 2011, 2013, and 2015 in September…The president of the Civil War Trust and his chief fundraising officer were at the History Center last week and reported that the Civil War Trust has an option to buy the two parcels of land at Cabin Creek for $360,000. The Civil War Trust is applying for a grant from the American Battlefield Protection Plan for half the purchase price, leaving $180,000 to be raised” (The Chronicles of Oklahoma, Fall 2011, p. 380).

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