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Civil War Action at Hay Station - Flat Rock Creek
In Response To: Flat Rock Creek Water Outing August 19th ()

And now for a little Civil War history of the Flat Rock Creek Area that I thought some might like to see. The below excerpt from a report of Confederate Brigadier General Richard M. Gano, C. S. Army, commanding brigade, on the “Action at Hay Station on Flat Rock Creek” on September 16, 1864 during the Civil War is from the “The War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies” Series I, Volume 41, Part I printed in 1885:

“I left camp on the morning of the 14th with 1,200 men from my brigade and Howell's battery. Was accompanied by General Watie with a detachment of 800 men from his brigade to make an expedition north of the Arkansas River and found it swollen so as to make it a difficult passage. It required six hours to cross the river; hard work. All the artillery ammunition had to be packed over by hand, and many of our brave boys were plunged beneath the waves in consequence of quicksands. We encamped in the river bottom, two miles above Redbank's Ford and thirteen miles northwest from Fort Gibson.

On the 16th we proceeded on our way, crossing the Verdigris at Sand Town Ford, about eight miles from the hay camp at Flat Rock. From this point I sent Gurley's regiment, accompanied and piloted by a detachment from General Watie's command,around to the rear of the enemy's camp, while we proceeded slowly toward the camp.

General Watie and staff with my staff accompanied me to the top of a mountain while the command was halted below, and from our elevated position we could view their camps, and with spy glasses could see them at work making hay, little dreaming that the rebels were watching them.

From thence we moved to within one mile of their camp unperceived, and I sent Lieutenant- Colonel Welch to the right with a column composed of the Twenty- ninth and Thirty- first Texas Cavalry (De Morse's and Hardeman's) while General Watie conducted the Indian column to the left, while I carried forward the center, with Howell's battery supported by Martin's regiment, the Gano Guards,under Captain Welch, and Heard's and Glass' detachment of companies. I could distinctly see Captain Strayhorn formed in the enemy's rear.

The clouds looked somber and the V-shape procession grand as we moved forward in the work of death. Then commenced a running fight with the enemy's cavalry, while with the center I moved down and engaged their infantry. I sent Major Stackpole with a captured Federal lieutenant under flag of truce to demand surrender, but they fired upon my flag and then commenced the work of death in earnest.

The sun witnessed our complete success, and its last lingering rays rested upon a field of blood. Seventy- three Federals, mostly negroes, lay dead upon the field.

We captured 85 prisoners and left 5 badly wounded. We captured and destroyed their camps and stores with large quantities of hay. Our loss was 3 wounded.”

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