By Rosanna Ward
“The Battle of Round Mountain is listed as the first battle fought in Indian Territory during the Civil War. This historic battle fought in Payne County saw approximately 1,400 Confederate soldiers under the command of Colonel Douglas H. Cooper pursue roughly 9,000 Unionist civilians led by Opothleyahola, a famous Upper Creek leader. These civilians were attempting to avoid an alliance with the Confederacy and ultimately chose to flee to the protection of Union forces in Kansas. Colonel Cooper set out on November 19, 1861 in an attempt to coerce Opothleyahola into submission. Each February, the town of Yale comes alive with the Battle of Round Mountain Reenactment.”
The day we went, the weather was overcast but temperate and the kids were all in a good mood. Saturday was the actual battle reenactment event, so Friday we just got to walk around and visit the different campsites and vendors.
Our favorite stops were the rope-making stall and a booth called Fennel’s Fancy’s. Each of the kids enjoyed making their own rope, and at Fennel’s Fancy’s, the girls made corn-husk dolls, bought lye soap and wood pencils, and tried to fry bread in a kettle over the campfires.
All of the vendors were dressed in period clothes, and Elizabeth and I drooled with envy. Elizabeth is determined to find patterns and make us some costumes for next time. We spent about two hours walking around and taking pictures.
Spending the day at the civil war camp was a nice outing and fun hands-on opportunity for the kids, but next year we definitely need to wait and come on the day of the battle reenactment itself.