We don't normally associate American Indians with the U.S. Civil War. However, historians report that many Indians did fight. Estimates of the number of American Indians who fought for either the Union or the Confederacy vary widely; several sources cite numbers ranging from about 6,000 to over 20,000 men.
Earlier this month, descendants of Company K of the First Michigan Sharpshooters returned to the park to meet with Superintendent Lewis Rogers and his staff and pay homage to their ancestors. Company K consisted entirely of American Indians from Michigan who enlisted in the Union Army.
According to information from the park, "The 1st Michigan Sharpshooters fought valiantly in every major battle in the Petersburg campaign. The American Indians were a memorable presence at the Battle of the Crater, where they were noticed for their composure under adversity."
You can read more in an article by Jim Burnett in the National Parks Traveler at http://goo.gl/rwuBJ