More than 20,000 Native Americans fought in the Civil War. The film features historical accounts of Native soldiers participating in the Civil War and interviews with descendents of Indian Civil War soldiers. In the war that tore this nation apart, its original citizens played a surprisingly large role. Learn the full truth in this illuminating program.
- Based on the scholarship of historians Thom Hatch and Lawrence Hauptman. - Interviews descendents of Indian Civil War soldiers. - A Native American wrote the final draft of Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox.
Few know that twenty to thirty thousand Native Americans fought in the Civil War. This program presents the largely untold story of the First Americans' role in the War Between the States.
The common view of the Civil War is very black-and-white: North vs. South, rural vs. urban, slaveholders vs. abolitionists. But, from the conflict's origins to the complicated progression of its major events, the truth is far murkier and more complex. This immensely illuminating documentary clarifies one particularly muddy but fascinating aspect of the time: how Indians reacted to and participated in the Civil War.
Discover notable Native American combatants like Ely Parker, Stand Waite, and Henry Berry Lowery. Then go beyond the scholarship and visit with descendants of Indian Civil Warrior soldiers, hearing the family lore of their ancestors' exploits. Far more than just a "White Man's Folly," learn the very personal reasons that drew these Native Americans into the fray.
How Native Americans came into service as soldiers
This compelling documentary first aired on the History Channel in May of 2007. The film describes the milieu in which Native Americans came into service as soldiers during the Civil War. The documentary chronicles the lives of three warriors:
Union Civil War General Ely Parker, who was from the Seneca Tribe.
- Ely Parker, who served as Ulysses S. Grant's military secretary and a Union Civil War general - Stand Watie, a Cherokee leader who sided with the Confederacy and became a Confederate general - Henry Berry Lowery, who helped his tribe survive starvation at the end of the war by stealing food and goods from wealthy Southern planters, which he shared with both Whites and Indians
An interesting endnote to the documentary is that although Native Americans were used by both the Union and the Confederacy during the war, afterwards they were seen, not as allies, but as obstacles to progress.

Film Duration: 44 min