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On 17 July 1863, 3400 Federals under Maj. Gen. James G. Blunt defeated 5600 Confederates under Brig. Gen. Douglas H. Cooper in the largest of 107 "hostile encounters" in the Indian Territory. The engagement is important because it is the largest event in which Native Americans fought on both sides and it was one of the earliest in which Black Americans proved themselves as fighting men. The First Kansas Volunteer Infantry (colored) defeated three veteran regiments of Texas cavalry. [Also engaged were battalions of the 2nd Colorado Infantry, 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry, 6th Kansas Cavalry, the Union Indian Brigade, and two batteries of Kansas artillery for the US. Confederate troops included the 20th and 29th Texas Cavalry, 5th Texas Partisan Rangers, Gillette's and Scandland's Squadrons of Texas Cavalry, 1st & 2nd Mounted Cherokee Rifles, 1st & 2nd Creek Mounted Volunteers, and the 1st Choctaw-Chickasaw Mounted Rifles for the CSA.] As a result of "the Engagement at Honey Springs" (or what the CS titled "the Affair at Elk Creek") the Confederates no longer had free run north and east of the Arkansas River, opening the way for the fall of Fort Smith, Arkansas.