March 29, 2011

RSU Public TV to Present Premiere of ‘Last Raid at Cabin Creek' April 2

RSU Public Television will air the broadcast premiere of the award-winning Civil War documentary "Last Raid at Cabin Creek at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 2.

Released to the home video market in 1992, the documentary highlighting the last Civil War battle in Indian Territory has never been seen on local television. RSU Public Television will air the broadcast version of the program that has been edited for television over the next two years during the nation's Civil War Sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) celebration.

The Cabin Creek raid was called "one of the most brilliant and daring raids of the entire war" in a congratulatory order published in October of 1864 by Lieutenant General Edmund Kirby-Smith, the commander of all Confederate forces west of the Mississippi River.

"Last Raid at Cabin Creek" chronicles the successful raid led by Confederate brigadier generals Richard M. Gano and Stand Watie. On September 19, 1864, their rag-tag force consisting of 2,000 Texas and Indian troops surprised and captured a Union supply train of 300 wagons, including 1,800 mules and horses, at the Cabin Creek station, Cherokee Nation. The Confederate force made it safely back to their lines with 130 wagons filled with much need supplies and 740 mules. The captured supplies were later estimated to have been worth more than $1.5 million in 1864 dollars. Watie, Gano and their respective commands received a special commendation from the Confederate Congress in January of 1865 for the capture of the wagon train.

The documentary has won numerous awards including the Jefferson Davis Historical Gold Medal from the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and has been recognized by the American Association for State and Local History and the state of Oklahoma. The program was added to the collection of the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of American History in 1998.

The documentary was written and produced by Steven L. Warren, a native of Claremore. Warren, along with Richard L. Harding of Bartlesville, directed the program. Sam Jones, now an RSU public TV show host, served as the documentary's narrator. Production assistance provided by the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa and Archival Data Services of Bartlesville.

"We are thrilled that the documentary will have its broadcast debut on RSU Public Television," Warren said. "It's fantastic that they chose to air a program about local Civil War history at the start of April, which is Civil War month, and I think it's a great way to kick off the Civil War's 150th celebration in Oklahoma. I hope it will spark an interest among Oklahomans to find out more about the Civil War in Indian Territory."

Warren's research for the documentary took him to archives in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Arkansas and Missouri. He located and brought to light new eyewitness information about the Second Battle of Cabin Creek, which had not been seen in more than 90 years. It also led him to write the book "Brilliant Victory: The Second Civil War Battle of Cabin Creek, Indian Territory," which was published in 2002.

"Last Raid at Cabin Creek" is available on Warren's book, "Brilliant Victory," published by Gregath Publishing Co. of Wyandotte, Oklahoma, is available at

RSU Public Television is licensed to Rogers State University and is the only public TV station operated by a university in Oklahoma. The station, based on the RSU campus in Claremore, reaches more than one million people within a 75-mile radius of the campus.

RSU Public TV broadcasts on digital channel 35.1 and 35.2, Tulsa and Claremore cable channel 19, Cable Channel 4 in Bartlesville and satellite channel 35 across northeastern Oklahoma.

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