On Dec. 29, 1835, they signed the Treaty of New Echota giving up all claims to lands in the East in return for compensation and land west of the Mississippi River.
Cherokee Stand Watie exhibited bravery and leadership while fighting for two lost causes.
BY JIM STEBINGER
David Watie was the brother of Major Ridge, which made the noted Cherokee leader their uncle and his son -- John Ridge -- their cousin.
This was especially true after gold was discovered on Cherokee land in 1828 and Pres. Andrew Jackson refused to enforce the Supreme Court's Worcester v. Georgia decision in 1832.
Consequently, they became leaders of a Cherokee faction supporting removal to the West.
Other Cherokees led by John Ross bitterly opposed the treaty and fought removal, but the U.S. Senate ratified the treaty.
Three years later, the U.S. enforced Cherokee removal in what came to be known as the Trail of Tears.
In June 1839, all but Watie were assassinated by execution squads for having signed the Treaty of New Echota.
Watie escaped after being warned that he was targeted.
In time, he became a wealthy planter and slave owner in the Indian Territory.
With the outbreak of the Civil War, Watie sided with the Confederacy and was commissioned as a colonel in July 1861. He was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General in 1864, making him the only Indian to achieve the rank of General. He was also known as the last Confederate General to surrender.
Watie raised a regiment known as the Cherokee Mounted Volunteers and fought in Arkansas and the Battle of Pea Ridge (Elk Horn Tavern).
Because many Cherokees were loyal to the Union, Watie spent much of the rest of the war waging guerrilla warfare in the Indian Territory and adjacent states.
In May 1864, he was promoted to brigadier general -- becoming the highest ranking Indian to fight in the Civil War.
On June 23, 1865, over two months after Lee's surrender, Cherokee Stand Watie became the last Confederate general to surrender his forces.
Following the war, Watie unsuccessfully tried to rebuild his fortune.
He died on Sept. 9, 1871 [not 1870 as indicated on the back of the stamp] in Delaware County, Oklahoma.
The youth remained collected and spoke calmly with Watie, who was inside a small store he kept in northeastern Indian Territory.
Knowing that enemies could be listening, the young man bargained loudly for sugar and softly told Watie what had happened and where to find the horse called Comet standing bridled and ready.
Deliberately, Watie left the store and rode off safely.
He would remain in jeopardy for almost six years.
The tribal majority blamed Watie and his faction for the removal of the Cherokees along what became known as the Trail of Tears.
Watie's uncle, the prominent chief Major Ridge, Watie's cousin John Ridge and Watie's brother Elias Boudinot (also known as Buck Watie) all died that day in the new Cherokee Nation in the West.
Stand Watie faced few worse days in his adventurous and violent life that saw him become a Confederate brigadier general.
On the losing side twice in his life, he had intimate familiarity with dashed hopes and lost causes.
Smallpox and other diseases struck often in the 1700s.
By 1800, the Cherokee population was probably about 16,000.
In the Georgia Compact of 1802, Georgia gave up the land that became Alabama and Mississippi with the understanding that the federal government would force the Cherokees west.
The Cherokees refused, and Washington stalled.
Most of the tribe decided that assimilation gave them the best hope to stay in their homeland.
Cherokees began to take on white ways, seeking education, material profit and cultural interchange.
Assimilation, though, didn't work as planned.
Growing economic power on the part of the Cherokees enraged white Georgians, who redoubled expulsion efforts.
They were eventually pushed all the way to what would become Oklahoma.
The bulk of the tribe went to court, and the debate over relocation simmered.
Meanwhile, the tribe (which numbered about 14,000 in the Southeast in the mid-1820s) began to suffer a debilitating internal split.
Perhaps 20 percent of the Cherokee people successfully adapted to white lifestyles, some becoming affluent Southern slave-owning planters.
The faction of the tribe headed by the Ridges and Waties owned most of the estimated 1,600 slaves held by tribesmen.
Cherokee slave owners tended to work side by side with their chattels, children were born free, and intermarriage was not forbidden.
Only about 8 percent of tribal members (1 percent of full-blooded families) actually owned slaves.
Because of the influence of mission schools, many Cherokees were intensely anti-slavery.
Poorer than the Ridge-Watie faction, the traditionalists had neither the money nor the inclination to move West.
At a convention the next year, John Ross was elected principal chief--a post he held until his death in 1866.
Ross, born in 1796 in Tennessee, was mostly Scottish, having only one-eighth Cherokee blood.
But he was Cherokee to the core and enormously popular.
Major Ridge and his brother, David Watie (or Oowatie), were descended from warrior chiefs.
Both men married genteel white women and rose in society, dressing and acting like planters.
The family was close, and family members wrote more often and better than most whites of the time.
Some 2,000 family letters were found in 1919.
Following Sequoyah's development of a syllabary in 1821, Cherokees took enthusiastically to reading and writing.
When Stand Watie began writing is not certain, but his only surviving letters date to the Civil War.
Most of the Cherokees who had not moved West in the removal treaties of 1817 and 1819 continued to be against relocation, and Ross was their spokesman.
The Ridge faction thought relocation to be in the best interests of the people.
Major Ridge, a full-blooded Cherokee, and his son John Ridge felt that the educated and wealthy Cherokees could probably survive in Georgia but that the others would be led into drunkenness and then cheated and oppressed.
War would be the inevitable result.
Each faction thought the other was corrupt.
The Ridge-Watie party allied itself with U.S. President Andrew Jackson and his supporters, and connived behind the backs of the Cherokee councilmen, who usually opposed them.
In 1835 the issue came to a head.
Ridge's faction helped draft a treaty that would require Cherokee removal west of the Mississippi in return for about $5 million.
Ross and the council rejected the treaty, holding out for $20 million and other terms; they would not move on Ridge-Watie terms.
By October it was clear that most Cherokees sided with Ross.
It was also clear that the government would not pay $20 million.
Major Ridge, John Ridge and the Watie brothers were the only prominent Cherokees to sign the Treaty of New Echota, in Georgia, on December 29.
A free-blanket offer attracted some 300 to 500 people--probably 3 percent of the tribe--to the signing place.
Only about 80 to 100 people eligible to vote were present.
Ross and the legitimate council were nowhere near.
The treaty was roundly denounced--even by such unlikely allies as Davy Crockett and Daniel Webster.
Cherokees in the East had to leave the Southeast in return for a payment of $15 million and 800,000 acres in Indian Territory (in what would become northeastern Oklahoma and part of Kansas).
The Cherokees were to be removed within two years.
The Ridge-Watie faction ("treaty party") thought the terms generous--that they had gotten a good price.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the treaty invalid, but President Jackson refused to void it. The Martin van Buren administration did likewise.
Ross and his "anti-treaty party" fought a losing court battle, and they were not well-prepared for removal when it began.
In 1837, only about 2,000 Cherokees went West; most of the others held out, perhaps not believing they would be forced to leave their homeland.
As many as 4,000 Cherokees may have died from disease, hunger, cold and deliberate brutality by volunteer Georgia troops and regulars led by a reluctant General Winfield Scott.
The Ridge-Watie parties had been among the first to depart to the new country, arriving in 1837.
They had gone in comfort and had located themselves on choice Indian Territory land. Because most of the Cherokees who followed suffered during the migration and after their arrival in the West, resentment against the Ridges and Waties grew.
And historians also agree that the treaty was invalid, the military high-handed, the preparations and logistics inefficient, and the intent rapacious.
The Cherokees certainly thought so, and feelings against the treaty party ran higher and higher.
Ironically, Major Ridge himself had helped write the death penalty into the Cherokee Constitution for those selling tribal land without authorization.
Many years earlier, he had killed a fellow chief named Doublehead who was convicted by the tribal council of such a land deal. Clearly, Ridge knew the penalty.
Either Ross had reached the end of his patience with his enemies--or he simply could do nothing to stop the killings.
About 30 killers dragged him from his bed and into his front yard around dawn on June 22.
They knifed him repeatedly before his distraught family.
Old Major Ridge, John's father, was ambushed a few hours later while riding past a small bluff on the road to Washington County, Ark. Rifle-toting bushwhackers opened fire, hitting him five times.
Boudinot, at about the same time, was going about his daily work, helping a friend build a house near Park Hill, some miles from John Ridge's house.
Three Cherokees approached him and told him they needed to get medicine.
Because Boudinot's tribal responsibilities included providing medicine, he followed, unsuspecting.
One of the men quickly dropped behind him and stabbed him in the back.
Another axed him in the head.
But Boudinot's cries on being stabbed were heard by friends.
The youth who delivered the warning to Watie was probably the son of the Reverend S.A. Worcester, a family friend.
Watie's store was close to John Ridge's home.
He repudiated the murders, but he did not turn the killers in and may actually have hidden some of them.
He denied complicity and does not appear to have been directly involved. Former President Jackson wrote to Watie and condemned "the outrageous and tyrannical conduct of John Ross and his self-created council....I trust the President will not hesitate to employ all his rightfull [sic] power to protect you and your party from the tyranny and murderous schemes of John Ross."
Watie formed a band of warriors, and Ross complained to Washington that he had to go armed among friends.
The government ordered Watie to disband his followers, to little avail.
As chief of his segment of the tribe, Watie authorized retaliation, and vengeance murders were common.
Legend has encrusted Watie's activities, giving him heroic courage and coolness and deadly fighting skills.
His most documented exploit occurred in an Arkansas grocery where he confronted James Foreman, an alleged killer of Major Ridge.
The two men had threatened each other frequently, but this day they bought each other a drink. A challenge was quickly issued, and the drinks were hurled aside.
Foreman had a big whip, which he used against Watie.
Watie stabbed Foreman when Foreman tried to hit him with a board.
He then shot and killed the escaping Foreman.
Watie successfully argued self-defense at his trial.
In one letter to Watie, a relative recounted family news that included four treaty-related killings (and two scalpings), three hangings for previous killings and two kidnappings.
The letter said that intertribal murders were so common "the people care as little about hearing these things as they would hear of the death of a common dog."
Times were improving until the Civil War.
Stand Watie was a member of the Cherokee Tribal Council from 1845 to 1861.
He declared his support for the Confederacy early on, but Ross resisted at first.
The Confederacy was successful in seeking alliances with Comanches, Seminoles, Osages, Chickasaws, Choctaws and Creeks.
Ross was finally forced into the Confederate alliance.
Another Cherokee regiment served under John Drew.
In all, about 3,000 Cherokee men served the Confederacy during the war. Watie was beloved by die-hard Confederates.
Judge James M. Keyes of Pryor, Okla., said:
"I regard General Stand Watie as one of the bravest and most capable men, and the foremost soldier ever produced by the North American Indians.
He was wise in council and courageous in action."
He led with dash and imagination as they ambushed trains, steamships and Union cavalry.
He also fought in one major battle.
They were in the region of Fayatteville, Ark., trying to encircle the right flank of Maj. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis' 12,000-man army.
Curtis, who was on the defensive about 30 miles northeast of Fayatteville at Pea Ridge, discovered the plan and spoiled the offensive.
Van Dorn withdrew after two days of stubborn fighting, but Pea Ridge cemented Watie's reputation.
He captured a Union battery after a dramatic charge, and also proved skillful in withdrawal, helping to prevent a disaster.
One of his soldiers said:
"I don't know how we did it but Watie gave the order, which he always led, and his men could follow him into the very jaws of death.
The Indian Rebel Yell was given and we fought like tigers three to one.
It must have been that mysterious power of Stand Watie that led us on to make the capture against such odds."
Watie, though, stuck to the Southern cause.
Untrained as a soldier, he had good sense and cunning and was an effective guerrilla. "Stand Watie and his men, with the Confederate Creeks and others, scoured the country at will, destroying or carrying off everything belonging to the loyal Cherokee," wrote 19th-century anthropologist James Mooney.
Watie was promoted to brigadier general on May 10, 1864, and on June 23, 1865, was the last Southern general to capitulate.
Watie returned to absolute devastation.
(According to Mooney, the Cherokee population during the war was reduced from 21,000 to 14,000.)
Watie then fought some losing postwar battles.
He was rebuffed in his bid for federal recognition as Cherokee chief and was also rebuffed in efforts to rebuild his fortunes.
All his sons died before he died on September 9, 1871, and his two young daughters followed in 1873.
But Confederate veterans and sympathetic writers kept Watie's legend alive.
He became the example of devotion to "the Cause."
Even enemy Cherokees came to respect his devotion to his beliefs, and "Stand" and "Watie" became common Cherokee first names.
He never, they say, had a harsh word for his family and never gave way to despair or dejection.
In reality he was not a shining cavalier--his Indian troops sometimes reverted to scalping and torture.
He clearly was involved in shameful political skullduggery.
But he was a man who fought hard for his beliefs and stuck to his guns even when the odds were against him.
He had supported two lost causes--the Ridges and then the Confederacy--but he had never given up.
He had to wait for nine months before his plan was approved by the Confederate high command.
When offered overall command of the expedition, he graciously turned command over to Brigadier General Richard M. Gano since Gano's commission predated Watie's by one month.
Watie remained in command of the Cherokee, Creek and Seminole cavalry totaling 800 men who fought alongside their Texas brothers-in-arms.
On June 25, 1865, two months after Robert E. Lee's surrender, he officially surrendered his command of the First Indian Brigade, C.S.A to federal authorities at Doaksville near Fort Towson in the Choctaw Nation.
He was the last Confederate general in the field to surrender.
General Watie surrendered after the Civil War,
by the following articles. THE TREATY
On Dec. 29, 1835, they signed the Treaty of New Echota giving up all claims to lands in the East in return for compensation and land west of the Mississippi River.
Cherokee Stand Watie exhibited bravery and leadership while fighting for two lost causes.
BY JIM STEBINGER
The Oklahoma Historical marker is in the roadside park at Pipe Springs, on the east side of Locust Grove.
The battlefield site is on the ridge, west and south, above the springs.
In late June, 1862, a Federal force of about 6,000 soldiers under the command of Colonel William Weer departed from Baxter Springs, Kansas, and passed down the Neosho River where Colonel Stand Watie, Colonel John Drew, and other Confederate organizations had been raiding.
Colonel Weer, with a detachment of about 300 men, completely surprised the camp of Confederate Colonel J.J. Clarkson near Locust Grove about sunrise on July 3, 1862.
Clarkson's force of about 300 men was so completely demoralized that they were unable to form a battle line, though gunfire continued in the woods all day.
Colonel Clarkson surrendered the men that remained with him after the attack in the morning.
Those that escaped went to Tahlequah where their story of Clarkson's defeat gave a powerful impulse to Union recruiting of Cherokees.
Sixty wagons of ammunition and salt, sixty-four mule teams, and large quantities of provisions were captured by the Federals, together with 110 men who surrendered.
Colonel Weer's next move was to Flat Rock, within fourteen miles of Fort Gibson, then in Confederate hands.
State Highway 33 is now known as US Scenic 412.
Pipe Springs Park is located about 1 mile east of the Scenic 412 and Hwy. 82 junction in Locust Grove.
The ridge visible just southeast of the intersection is the battlesite.
The boys at West Point are told that shock and surprise have won more wars than bullets and casualties, and they learn to stress the former and conserve the latter.
Small actions based on shock and surprise have been the turning points of almost every war.
The battlefields of Cabin Creek, Honey Springs, Boggy Depot, Fort Wayne and Braggs Mountain lie in tangles of underbrush at the back of plowed fields, far from any roads, but the clear waters of Saline Creek gurgle under a stout bridge from which one may look up and down stream at the former campsite where Clarkson's men were surprised at daybreak on that fateful July morning back in 1862.
McIntosh, the Lower Creek, and Stand Watie, the Cherokee, had sent Opoethleyoholo, the Upper Creek, and his "union" followers on a bitter and distracted flight to their miserable refuge camp in Kansas in December, and Raines, Coffey Hunter, Clarkson, Watie and other Confederate leaders were strutting and foraging at will while the "loyal" families in the Five Nations buried their valuables and longed for their suspended government annuities.
So, by June 5, 1862, Col. Charles Doubleday had dropped down from Baxter Springs, Kans., with a sizeable body of Federals and jumped Col. Stand Watie's Indians near the present site of Grove, on the Elk River.
But that was in the heart of the "Ridge Faction" country where every Cherokee family was rebel, and Watie's people gave Doubleday some lessons in how Indians can retire unharmed and leave their white enemies bleeding and confused.
They got here just after the Confederates, with thumbs at noses, had raided Neosho, Mo., while Doubleday cowered at Elk River, so William Weer, who commanded the new brigade, split his column into three for the retaliatory campaign.
They had followed the column down from Kansas in the hope that their homes would be recaptured for them.
Then about dusk Weer's scouts reported that Col. J.J. Clarkson was in camp along Saline Creek, just two miles to the south, and that he had several hundred white and Indian troops and about 70 wagons of supplies!
Just below Ross' salt works his "point" turned back, and presently a group of Indian scouts fanned out into the darkness.
Clarkson's pickets were whites, and were handled without a single gunshot or disturbing noise, and Weer drew quietly into position on the bluffs above the camp.
The rebel Indians stood their ground a while and then faded into the locust thickets when the Federal field piece came up.
The capture included 110 men, soldiers from the white Missouri regiment mostly, and the 60 wagons taken carried powder, clothing, food and salt from the Ross' works, which had been the main source of supply for the Indians. As the Federals were well supplied, Weer destroyed the salt. And on his way back he burned the works and destroyed the kettles.
But Weer sent Captain Greeno and two companies to Park Hill.
He found that the news of Locust Grove had Park Hill in deepest gloom and indecision, as the loss of the supplies was a staggering blow to rebel prospects.
He put Chief John Ross on his parole and arrested hundred s of Confederate soldiers, most of whom ended up by joining the Federals.
All this with only two companies of soldiers!
From then on there were two governments in the Cherokee Nation, and the resultant dissension in this buffer nation made the second Federal invasion a series of easy triumphs.
In fact it really inspired the second invasion.
And with a nation solidly rebel to the end the Cherokees might have lost their "outlet" when the other western lands were taken away in the postwar treaties!
SKIRMISH AT LOCUST GROVE, IND. T.
Reports of Col. William Weer, Tenth Kansas Infantry
After travelling rapidly all night I came up with them on the east side of Grand River about sunrise.
They were under command of Colonel Clarkson; number not known. I completely surprised them, killed some 30, captured 100 prisoners, and their entire baggage wagons, mules, guns, ammunition, tents, &c. Lost 1 man of the Ninth Kansas and Dr. Holleday, of the First Indian.
The latter was killed in mistake by one of the Ninth. Colonel Clarkson and the officers are in our hands.
The Indians behaved nobly, under Lieutenant-Colonel Wattles and Adjutant Ellithorpe.
A full report will be made as soon as movements are made. We are much exhausted.
Camp near Grand Saline, July 6, 1862.
As promised, I send you a more detailed account of the affair of the 3d instant.
Its locality I find to be known as Locust Grove, that being the name of a post-office there.
It is some 2 miles east of Grand River and about 30 north of Tahlequah.
The troops composing the party under myself consisted of a detachment of the First Indian Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Wattles; one from the Tenth Kansas, in wagons, under Captain Quigg, and a section of Allen's battery, under Lieutenant Baldwin, superintended by Lieutenant Taylor, my chief of artillery.
The only troops actively engaged were the detachments from the First Indian and Ninth Kansas. The artillery was, however, planted in battery, defended by the detachment from the Tenth Kansas, and was only prevented from paying its respects to the enemy from fear of destroying our own men, who were engaged with the enemy in the woods in scattered parties.
The suddenness of the attack and the bushy nature of the ground caused the fight to be one in which each participant was thrown more or less on his individual resources.
The Indians and Ninth Kansas attacked and pursued the enemy with great vigor, while the remainder of the troops were with difficulty restrained from joining in the attack.
Our forces were between 200 and 300. The enemy were about the same number.
The pursuit was continued nearly all day through the heavy timber.
We have some 100 prisoners, including Colonel Clarkson and officers, and a large amount of camp and garrison equipage, transportation, munitions of war, &c., as will be seen from accompanying report of Division Quartermaster Clark.
Our loss was 2 privates killed--one from First Indian and one from Ninth Kansas--and Assistant Surgeon Holleday, shot by mistake.
The fleeing enemy ran to Tahlequah and there spread the report of their disaster.
It caused the immediate disbanding of Drew's regiment of rebel Cherokees, some 1,000 strong.
Four hundred of them have already joined Colonel Ritchie's regiment, thus filling it up, at a point some 20 miles north of the scene of the fight, where I had caused the army to encamp.
Downing, with 200 more, will reach me this morning, while other parties of Cherokees are advancing to join us.
During the same day (the 3d) the Sixth Kansas, whom I had sent from Cowskin by Maysville, in Arkansas, down the east side of Grand River, came up with Stand Watie's command, killed one of them, and put to flight the remainder.
The news is that the enemy are concentrating about Fort Smith, and that Pike, with 6,000 Texans, is south of them toward Red River.
This command, in view of the long line of communication to be kept open, should be re-enforced immediately.
Our little victory has had a wonderful effect upon the Cherokees, deciding all the wavering in our favor.
I have great difficulty in restraining the Indians with me from exterminating the rebels.
A good deal of property has been destroyed in spite of all my efforts. In the absence of instructions I feel at some loss what course to pursue in the treatment of the Indians.
I consider the Cherokee country as virtually conquered.
Our movements are so rapid and unexpected by the enemy that they are completely bewildered.
Colonel Phillips had his Confederate counterpart in Stand Watie, a persistent and implacable enemy of Union Indians. After defeat at the Battle of Honey Springs, full-scale Confederate resistance was no longer possible. At this point the military talents of Watie, best suited to guerrilla actions, earned him the sobriquet, "The Indian Swamp Fox," because his style of warfare was modeled after that of General Francis Marion of Revolutionary War fame.
Following Phillips' march, Watie burned much of Tahlequah and destroyed the home of Chief Ross at Park Hill. Then in June of 1864 his dramatic capture of the Union Steamboat J. R. Williams, enroute from Fort Smith to Fort Gibson on the Arkansas River, cheered despondent Confederates. The cargo, consisting of food, clothing, and other provisions, and valued at $120,000, was probably the largest ever sent by water into Indian Territory. Watie ambushed the vessel with a three-gun artillery battery and a cavalry party, causing the Union guard of twenty-five to hastily desert the vessel. Loaded with loot, Watie's Indians scattered to visit their destitute families. The General could do little until his soldiers returned.
The outstanding Confederate military achievement of 1864 in Indian Territory was the brilliant capture of a Federal supply wagon train at Cabin Creek in September by Watie and General Richard M. Gano of Texas. Watie and Gano had recently burned an estimated 5,000 tons of hay and killed a party of forty Federal blacks engaged in the harvest. Then they continued by the Texas Road to Cabin Creek, where they encountered a large Federal supply train, enroute from Fort Scott, Kansas, to Fort Gibson. The train contained food, clothing, and other provisions valued at $1,500,000, and was intended for the 16,000 refugee Indians in and around Fort Gibson who were loyal to the United States. The Confederates partially encircled the Federal force guarding the train and subjected it to an effective cross fire. Meantime, the mule teams became unmanageable and stampeded, causing teamsters, wagon masters, and the train guard to hastily retreat in the direction of Fort Scott. The Confederates burned the disabled wagons, killed the crippled mules, and took over the remaining 130 wagons and 740 mules. Success came too late. While Confederates in Indian Territory were greatly encouraged by this victory, the Federals soon replaced their loss, re-supplied Fort Gibson, and no longer considered Watie a serious menace.
Colonel Phillips had his Confederate counterpart in Stand Watie, a persistent and implacable enemy of Union Indians. After defeat at the Battle of Honey Springs, full-scale Confederate resistance was no longer possible. At this point the military talents of Watie, best suited to guerrilla actions, earned him the sobriquet, "The Indian Swamp Fox," because his style of warfare was modeled after that of General Francis Marion of Revolutionary War fame. Following Phillips' march, Watie burned much of Tahlequah and destroyed the home of Chief Ross at Park Hill. Then in June of 1864 his dramatic capture of the Union Steamboat J. R. Williams, enroute from Fort Smith to Fort Gibson on the Arkansas River, cheered despondent Confederates. The cargo, consisting of food, clothing, and other provisions, and valued at $120,000, was probably the largest ever sent by water into Indian Territory. Watie ambushed the vessel with a three-gun artillery battery and a cavalry party, causing the Union guard of twenty-five to hastily desert the vessel. Loaded with loot, Watie's Indians scattered to visit their destitute families. The General could do little until his soldiers returned. The outstanding Confederate military achievement of 1864 in Indian Territory was the brilliant capture of a Federal supply wagon train at Cabin Creek in September by Watie and General Richard M. Gano of Texas. Watie and Gano had recently burned an estimated 5,000 tons of hay and killed a party of forty Federal blacks engaged in the harvest. Then they continued by the Texas Road to Cabin Creek, where they encountered a large Federal supply train, enroute from Fort Scott, Kansas, to Fort Gibson. The train contained food, clothing, and other provisions valued at $1,500,000, and was intended for the 16,000 refugee Indians in and around Fort Gibson who were loyal to the United States. The Confederates partially encircled the Federal force guarding the train and subjected it to an effective cross fire. Meantime, the mule teams became unmanageable and stampeded, causing teamsters, wagon masters, and the train guard to hastily retreat in the direction of Fort Scott. The Confederates burned the disabled wagons, killed the crippled mules, and took over the remaining 130 wagons and 740 mules. Success came too late. While Confederates in Indian Territory were greatly encouraged by this victory, the Federals soon replaced their loss, re-supplied Fort Gibson, and no longer considered Watie a serious menace.
The report cited the incident as the Battle of Springtown, which was to have occurred between a southern Home Guard and members of a Union Cavalry regiment. This report has since "gained legs" and is widely reported, including on a map of Civil War Engagements of Northwest Arkansas.
The report was recounted by Roy Taylor, who was raised near Springtown.
Taylor wrote that local Southern sympathizers formed Home Guard units that engaged in guerilla warfare against Union troops.
The battle was fought, according to Taylor, 1 mile west of Springtown, just south of Flint Creek, "500 yards south of the Northwest corner of Sec. 7 of Twp. 18N - Rge. 32W."
Taylor reports "six or eight northern soldiers killed were buried 350 yards north of the battle ground.
There were headstones of flint rocks marking their graves until a county road went through.
There was one old man from Arkansas killed. His name was Rev. Chastain and he rode a mule into battle."
Since that time, this battle has been reported by others with some claims of up to 15 Union casualties.
A map also suggests that the 11th Kansas Cavalry was the unit involved in the fray.
Because these reports were strikingly different from oral traditions handed down from the Chastain family to this author, a descendent of the Rev. Jehu Chastain, the author has investigated the Battle of Springtown and the death of Jehu Chastain. Jehu's son, Jehu Thomas Chastain (J. T.), was 18 at the time of his father's death, and told his grandson, Arthur Shields (the author's grandfather), the following. Rev. Jehu was 61 years old.
He and several neighbors had traveled to Springtown, the closest post office, for word from relatives in Georgia.
Papers and official reports were frequently posted in the lobby of a post office for all to read. Returning from Springtown, Jehu and his friends were surprised by bushwackers at a spring.
Jehu's mule shied or balked and the renegades were able to get close enough to shoot Rev. Chastain.
Mortally wounded, he managed to ride his mule home, near the present day Fairmount Cemetery, before dying.
He was buried as the first person in that cemetery and the date of death is well known as July 20, 1862.
J. T. never suggested that his father was involved in any organized resistance, nor did he suggest his father's murderers were Union military. In the report of War of the Rebellion, the Record of the Union and Confederate Armies, a compilation of official records, commissioned in 1880 by Congress and published in 1884, records of all field reports and letters between commands were published.
The author was unable to locate any reference to actions by either side at or near Springtown during July of 1862.
A list of battles,
CHRONOLOGICAL SUMMARY AND RECORD of Every Engagement Between the Troops of the Union and the Confederacy in the American Civil War During the year of 1862 Collated and Compiled from the Official Records of the War Department mentions only that considerable guerilla activity was taking place.
Militia and Home Guard units are reported in the compilation, and these Home Guards were frequently well organized and reported to the regional Officers, although they often took an independent course of action.
The claim that the 11th Kansas Cavalry was involved also is flawed.
The 11th was not formed until August of 1862 and did not see action until October when it arrived at Pea Ridge after an 8 day forced march.
Also, it was formed as an Infantry unit and converted to Cavalry later.
There were Kansas units in Indian Territory.
The 6th and 10th Kansas Infantry units were active in Southern Missouri and near Fort Gibson.
On the 20th of July, the same day Jehu died, units of the Missouri State Militia was engaged and damaged severely by the notorious Rebel rogue, Quantrill.
Missouri Militia (U. S.) units were forbidden to leave the state and would not cross the state line.
Actions around Fort Gibson was also reported July 27, 1862 as Union units tested the strength of Col. Stand Watie's troops.
The summer was extremely dry and Confederate soldiers burned the fields and prairies in an effort to deny Union horses grazing. Meanwhile, most of the Union soldiers had moved towards Helena and the Mississippi River.
But minor engagements with Confederates occurred at Elm Springs, Lowell, Maysville, Fayetteville, and Cane Hill in those months between Pea Ridge (March) and Prairie Grove (December), but these were well organized and well documented.
Foraging occurred, but Watie was near Maysville, and any small unit who dared forage near Springtown would have been in dire danger of being cut off and attacked.
During this time lawlessness abound and atrocities were frequent. Union soldiers frequently entered farms and took all the livestock, crops, and food.
Union sympathizers were shot by guerilla forces such as Quantrill, who was roaming Southern Missouri partly to distract the Union Army from the regular Confederates activities recruiting in that area.
Fully 1/3rd the men who fought for the South at Prairie Grove were from Southern Missouri.
The Pin Indians were not operating as renegades at this time, at least to the scale of later years.
The Pin Indians began the war as Confederates and converted from Confederate soldiers during the first year of the war.
The Cherokee Mounted Rifles remained true to the Southern cause under the leadership of General Stand Watie.
Watie's troops consisted of Cherokees, half-breeds, and whites who sympathized with the south.
The Pin Indians were more nearly full bloods and were avowed enemies of Watie and his Regiment, although they both fought for the South early in the war.
Many of the Pin Indians were in the First and Second Home Guard organized in Kansas under Col. Ritchie.
The hatred between the Pin and Watie was an outgrowth of the deep division between allied elite members of the Cherokee Tribe such as Watie and his father in law, The Ridge, and those Cherokees who were driven from their homes forcibly and came to Indian Territory on the "Trail of Tears." The Pin Indians eschewed white man ways, dressed traditionally, and although aligned with the North, they fought mostly without supervision from Union commanders.
In later years, they became notorious for killing, stealing horses and cattle, and terrorizing the general populace.
Typical was the execution of Simon Sager, one of the founding family patriarchs of Siloam Springs.
Simon was called out of his cabin and shot point blank for no other reason than his sons were in the Confederate Army.
Ironically, Simon had helped build both the male and female Cherokee Academy in 1847 in Talequah and some of his children had attended the school.
During the summer of 1862, Union Generals issued several orders threatening any person with death should they join Guerilla bands.
Many of the larger guerilla units became Confederate units, but others were small.
Becoming a guerilla was not a causal decision. Finally, the headstones referred to by Mr. Taylor, are unmarked.
Local residents Irene Ward and Margaret Shields recalled those stones were no more than 3 or 4 in number.
The cemetery was called the Hall Cemetery after the family buried there by most accounts.
Robert Hall owned land in Sec. 7 of Twp. 18-32W, prior to the Civil War near the reported site of the battle.
The stones reportedly were moved to Fairmount Cemetery after the road was widened and disturbed them.
There is no evidence uncovered that any soldiers were ever buried there.
The two oral traditions clash on some points, but do agree on the following.
Rev. Jehu Chastain was killed at or near a spring along Flint Creek about 1 mile west of Springtown. He escaped upon a mule but died later.
Negatives are hard to refute.
Lack of proof that a unit was in a particular area may be an omission in official record or a report simply was not made.
The Home Guard may have been so loosely formed that it had no recorded history.
Becoming a guerilla was not a light matter, and any who dared was subject to immediate execution if caught by the Union.
The Rev. Jehu Chastain was not even known to be armed.
The Rev. was 61 years age, and unlikely to be involved in fighting.
The 11th Kansas was not formed and most Kansas units appeared to have been in Indian Territory or Missouri at the time of Jehu's death.
No identifiable Union Regiment was operating in the Springtown area.
No reports of anywhere near the casualties reported were likely to have occurred.
The Battle of Maysville had no more casualties than that, and it was a battle that involved hundreds of troops. The number of casualties reported suggests it is exaggerated.
The more likely scenario was that Jehu was attacked by a roving band of Pin Indians or bushwhackers, perhaps even southern sympathizers themselves, but outlaws nonetheless.
They were intent upon robbing Jehu and his companions, or they feared they would report their position to authorities.
The named unit (11th Kansas) did not even exist July 20th.
The number of casualties are far greater than one expects in a small skirmish, and, Jehu Chastain's involvement with a "Home Guard" is not supported.
This author is forced to conclude that it is unlikely an organized battle at Springtown, on or about the date July 19-20, 1862 occurred but welcomes any evidence to support that notion.
The author would be keenly interested in any evidence that the Rev. Jehu Chastain deliberately and willingly engaged in a battle with troops or individuals sympathetic to the Union.
THE FORGOTTEN RIDERS UNDER
THE STARS AND BARS
By Frederick Blahut
(THIS ARTICLE COPYRIGHTED AND PROVIDED HERE COURTESY OF THE BARNES REVIEW)
Many comprehensive histories do not even mention these soldiers, and if so relegate their role to that of irregular raiders.
Yet regular units of Confederate cavalry made up of Indians fought with distinction throughout the war.
There are several reasons why these units have been relegated to the dustbin of history.
The first, and most obvious, is that they fought on the losing side. Also, their activities were confined, for the most part, to the Indian territories, such as today's Oklahoma.
And finally, the engagements they fought in the West were not sufficiently notable to affect the outcome of the war.
The most enduring names among these all-but-unknowns were those of Stand Watie, a Cherokee, John Jumper, a Seminole and Samuel Checote, a Creek.
To properly understand who these men were and why they chose to align themselves with the Confederate cause, we must turn momentarily to the very early history of the United States.
While the original states were forging a federal union, a similar path was being followed in the South, mostly in Georgia, but by native peoples, not whites.
American Indians known as the Five Civilized Tribes were forming nations.
They were the Cherokee, the Seminole, the Creek, the Choctaw and the Chickasaw. The best organized were the Cherokee, who developed their own written language, set up schools, and emplaced their own government and court system; their own nation within a nation.
Hence the term Civilized Nations.
Unfortunately for the Cherokee and the other civilized tribes, they did too well.
In the mid-18th Century, following the defeat of Scotland by England, many Scots migrated to America.
Large numbers of them were welcomed into the Cherokee nation.
A good many of these Scots came from northern Ireland, which had been populated with them by Oliver Cromwell as a means of thwarting Irish independence.
These Scots carried with them the deceptive hybrid title Scots-Irish. This misnomer was compounded by their becoming known as Scotch-Irish, although the latter comes in a bottle and not a kilt.
There was considerable intermarriage, resulting in a hard-working, prosperous people who, in their daily lives, were much more comparable to European southerners than to the Plains or "Wild" Indians so familiar to American lore.
Watie himself was a wealthy planter and slave owner, as were a number of his fellow civilized Indians.
However, the five Civilized Tribes fell victim to the doctrine, or inevitability, of Manifest Destiny.
There were greedy Americans who couldn't stand the fact that Indians (or "breeds" as the many of mixed blood were referred to) were doing so well; making a good deal of money and acting in the manner of Southern gentry.
As a consequence, Georgia began to enact laws which would make life intolerable for the South's tribes.
At the same time, the Indians were told that, if they moved to Oklahoma, they would be paid for their land and would be able to reestablish themselves far from the interference of the white man.
The leader of the Cherokee "half-breeds," who favored collecting the money and moving, was Watie.
His rival for control of the Cherokee Nation and leader of the "pure bloods" was Chief John Ross.
One assumes he acquired the Scottish name of Ross out of fancy.
Ross favored sticking it out.
During the 1820s, the Cherokee had taken Georgia to court a number of times. In 1832 one of the most interesting--and little known--tests of the Constitution's system of checks and balances developed.
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Georgia (and by extension, the United States) was wrong, and that laws restrictive of the Civilized Nations were unconstitutional.
To this an angry President Andrew Jackson stated:
"[Chief Justice] John Marshal has made his decision, now let him enforce it."
In 1835, Jackson sent Gen. Winfield Scott into the Civilized Nations to forcibly relocate the Indians to Oklahoma.
This passage became known as the "Trail of Tears."
From 19th Century dramatists to 20th Century Holly wood, the average American has retained a picture of thousands of poor, starving and threadbare Indians walking from Georgia to Oklahoma, prodded by the U.S. Cavalry.
Certainly the move was hard on many of the Indians.
A number died during the trek.
But what is less known is that a great deal of money was paid to many Indians.
Just how much was paid out and who received what is arguable.
It is known that those who had been wealthy land owners and slave holders in Georgia resumed their status in Oklahoma.
Among these were the Cherokee rivals Watie and Ross.
As a matter of fact, Ross had an Oklahoma mansion that was the equal of most in antebellum Dixie.
Watie's home was less impressive, but quite large and comfortable.
Finally, the Southern states began to threaten leaving the Union.
In April, 1861 the federal fortress in Charleston Harbor was fired upon, Jefferson Davis was elected president of the Confederate States of America and the war was on.
The Confederacy divided its territory into "departments" for purposes of administration.
In Southern By the Grace of God author Michael Andrew Grissom points out that "In the Indian Territory, each of the Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole) seceded in separate actions and, joining the Confederacy, became its only official allies."
The Indian Territories came under the Trans-Tennessee Department.
President Davis sent a man named Albert Pike to recruit the Indians to the Confederate cause.
Harpers' History of the Great Rebellion (New York, 1866) stated that "In the summer of 1861 Albert Pike had been among these tribes acting as 'commissioner of the Confederate States to the Indian nations and tribes west of Arkansas."
Territorial and alliance agreements were reached, and Harpers, Union to the core, wrote:
"Other tribes than the Comanches were also decoyed from their allegiance to the Federal government."
Watie favored the idea; Ross didn't.
Culturally (and half by race) Watie was a Southerner through and through.
He hated the idea of the abolitionists from Missouri and Kansas coming into the Indian Territories and interfering with the way of life that had prevailed.
In fact the Territories had as much slave-based agricultural society as anywhere in the 'Deep South.
Watie and Ross split, with Watie recruiting and leading a force of Indians (many of them of mixed blood) as regular Confederate soldiers--the Cherokee Mounted Rifles.
Watie was commissioned a colonel and, near war's end, he was promoted to general, the only American Indian to hold that rank.
At this point, two competing theories of how the war should have been pursued must be examined.
Jeff Davis was an advocate of the static defense: holding territory and denying it to the attacking enemy until losses and fatigue drove him back North.
General Robert F. Lee, on the other hand, held that the war must be taken to the enemy.
In the East, Lee prevailed; in the West, Davis.
The role of the Indian Confederate soldier was to prevent the enemy from gaining control of Oklahoma. In this they were successful.
The Union was never able to secure the area south of Missouri, Kansas and northern parts of Texas.
On the other hand the Union was able to prevent the Confederacy from making the Indian Territory a safe base of operations from which to marshal a strike against the East.
Harpers' History of the Great Rebellion noted that "The Indians farther south very naturally considered that their immediate, if not their future destiny must be linked with that of the Confederacy."
Look in most Civil War history books for reference to such battles as Wilson's Creek, Biro Creek, Pea Ridge, Spavinaw, Newtonia, Fort Wayne, Fort Gibson, Honey Springs, Webber's Falls, Poison Springs, Massard Prairie and Cabib Creek.
Chances are, you won't find much.
What information there is will be scanty, and with no mention of the Cherokee Mounted Rifles.
Harpers' Rebellion noted that possibly the largest engagement in which white and red "rebs" fought shoulder to shoulder was the two day Battle of Pea Ridge in March, 1862.
To the Confederates it is the Battle of Elk Horn, after the tavern in which they headquartered.
The location is several miles south of the Missouri line and north of the then-important railhead at Fayetteville, Arkansas.
The position commanded the Fayetteville road.
The Confederates were under General McCulloch and constituted, in the Harpers history, "several thousand men supported by a large body of Indians."
Harpers concluded of the battle:
"The Confederates had failed in their object (to hold that key local position) but, on the other hand, it cannot be said that the Federals had gained a very decisive victory.
On both sides men and guns had been captured.
The loss in killed and wounded on both sides was nearly equal, amounting, in either case, to about 1,000."
In virtually all the engagements in which regular Confederate forces fought alongside American Indians of the five Civilized Tribes, there are mixed reports of their fighting abilities.
In the postbellum book Campfires and Battlefields author Rossiter Johnson wrote
"These red men showed their old time terror of artillery..."
At Pea Ridge, Johnson stated that the Indians apparently believed "they would have little to do but scalp the wounded and rob the dead..."
But of Watie's cavalry Harrison Hunt wrote in Heroes of the Civil War:
"At Pea Ridge . . . he and his Indians anchored the Confederate right, holding the rebel line until it was overwhelmed by Union forces on the battle's second day.
Following Pea Ridge Watie's Mounted Rifles waged guerrilla warfare in Arkansas and the Indian territory."
Wilson's Creek has been compared to first Manassas (Bull Run).
Had the Confederates followed up their victory in the latter by chasing down the panicked and fatigued bluebellies, history might have taken a different course.
And had the Confederates done likewise following their victory at Wilson's Creek, the history of the war relative to Kansas and Missouri might have proven quite different.
But the "holding" theory of Davis was in vogue in the Indian Territory; the Indians having agreed to defend their own land with the aid of the Confederacy.
Consequently, after the rout of the Union forces, the Indians retired to their own land.
The only large-scale battle in which the forces of the Civilized Tribes participated was Pea Ridge.
And that battle is given short mention in most histories, with the participation of the Indians unmentioned.
One engagement with which many Americans are familiar is the Confederate raid on Independence, Missouri.
And in that incident the most prominently mentioned name is that of Capt. Charles Quantrell.
But it was Watie's Indian regulars who were most responsible for that success.
It was an incident that gave the northern press the opportunity to brand the Indians fighting with the Confederates as "raiders," as in undisciplined irregulars.
After the raid into Missouri, the Indians fought what could be termed a "holding action," preventing the Federals from taking control of the territory while never seriously threatening the Union's overall position.
With the Fall of Vicksburg, Mississippi on July 4, 1863 the Mississippi River became Union territory, cutting off the western regions of the Trans-Tennessee Department from the main body of the Confederacy.
Although Watie and his troops continued to disrupt Union supply lines, the West had been placed on the back burner by Washington.
There were never more than 6,000 Federal troops in any one place at one time in that area.
Compared to the battles in the Fast, such as Sharpsburg, Gettysburg and the Wilderness Campaign, the action in the West appeared little more than remote skirmishes.
There is one more historical fact that has been lost to most recollections but which deserves mention.
Watie became the last Confederate commander to surrender.
Only a dedicated search of historical records will reveal that not until June 23, 1865 did Watie surrender his command.
The last effective fighting force under the Stars and Bars to lay down its arms in the field was in Indian Territory, some 1,500 miles southwest of Appomatox.
Following the end of the war, those Indians who had been loyal to the Union were given control of the Indian Nations.
Clearly, the federal government had not been idle in attempting to build alliances within the Five Nations.
The Bicentennial Almanac
(Thomas Nelson, Inc. 1975)
records that on February 26, 1863
"The National Council of the Cherokee Indians rejoins the Union and abolishes slavery."
Negroes who had been held as slaves by the Indians were given land in the territories in which they had been slaves.
Michael Grissom wrote that "In Indian Territory, military troops occupied the entire area, where the Five Civilized Tribes were being punished for their allegiance to the Confederacy by wild Republican threats in Congress to colonize former slaves from the entire South on lands to be taken from the Indians.
"Although this didn't come to pass, the idea of ‘forty acres and a mule' was so seriously and widely projected, it had the effect of enticing ex-slaves from Texas, Arkansas and Missouri to pour into the territory, where they squatted on Indian lands and raided the corn cribs and smokehouses of Indian citizens.
"To make matters worse, the Radicals proposed to give the former slaves of the Indians all the rights held by Indians, plus an equal share in tribal annuities, lands and other benefits--some of which came to pass in the harsh Reconstruction treaties forced upon the tribes.
Eventually, the government would take away one half of Indian Territory and give it to the wild plains Indians who attacked the Five Civilized Tribes with frequency--the price extracted for southern loyalty."
This virtually unknown and unacknowledged (in America's books and classrooms) aspect of the vindictive fruits of dictatorial federal Reconstruction ended the era of the highly advanced Five Civilized Nations, and one of the most interesting episodes of the long and tragic saga of Indian relations with the United States.
The five red stars within the circle represented the five civilized tribes that served the Confederacy.
The Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaws, and the Seminoles each had one representing red star.
It was used as the Regimental colours by several the First Cherokee Mounted Rifles and other Cherokee units who served the Confederacy.
Just as there were other star variants of the First Confederate Flag there were other variants of the Cherokee Braves flag.
The 13 star variants included stars for Missouri and Kentucky but is currently not available.
Stand Watie was born in the Oothcaloga Valley south of present-day Calhoun, Ga. in 1806.
His birth name was Tak-er-taw-ker meaning "Stands Firm" and later Degadoga for "He Stands On Two Feet".
Baptized as Isaac he later combined a portion of his Cherokee name with his father's name Oo-wat-ie to form Stand Watie in English.
Little is known of his early years in Georgia, he may have been educated in Georgia mission schools that were set up to Englishize the Cherokees.
He was the brother of Buck Oowatie who later took the name of Elias Boudinot and became a newspaper editor, and the nephew of the prominent Cherokee Chief Major Ridge.
The Oowatie and Ridge families were two of the more prominent slave owning aristocrat families of the Cherokees owning most of the estimated 1600 owned by Cherokees.
Those in the lower classes, poorer than the Ridge and Oowatie factions tended to be less pro slavery and were more traditionalist and less likely to favor a move west from Georgia and the western Carolinas.
By 1820 one third of the tribe moved west of the Mississippi River.
Those who remained began to split into factions.
Those who favored fighting removal to the west rallied behind John Ross, a Scottish Cherokee from Tennessee.
Ross had only one eighth Cherokee but considered them to be his people over his white counterparts and was extremely popular having support of the majority.
On the opposing side was the Oowatie Ridge faction who believed that the lower classes of the tribe would never make it in the white mans world, believing that in years to come they would be decimated even lower to drunkenness and poverty and that moving west was in the tribes best interest.
In 1827 John Ross was elected to lead and represented them in their first centralized government to help them deal with the white world around them.
By 1832 the rivalry between those of the Ross faction and the Oowatie Ridge factions began to grow, and in the next few years worsened.
In 1835 it came to a head when the the Ridge faction supported a treaty with Washington that would give the Cherokees 5 million dollars in return for their removal west of the Mississippi.
The Ross side refused to sign hoping to hold out for at least 20 million.
It was clear that no treaty would be made at that time since the majority of Cherokees sided with the Ross faction.
Then in December 1835 the Ridge Oowatie faction managed to sign the Treaty at New Echota Georgia receiving $15 million dollars and 800,000 acres of land in Oklahoma for the Cherokees.
They believed they had secured the best terms possible in the best interest of the tribe while the Ross followers considered it an act of treason against them.
The Trail of Tears followed in 1838 with Federal and State militias enforcing the removal.
In 1839 the bitter animosity between the two tribes remained in Oklahoma.
A hundred or so Cherokees from anti treaty faction met in secret and decided on death for the the Ridge and Watie men.
On June 22, 1839 John Ridge was dragged from his home in Indian Territory and was stabbed to death.
His father Major Ridge was ambushed and killed in Washington County Arkansas.
Elias Boudinot the brother of Stand Watie was attacked at his home and axed to death.
Stand Watie also marked for death was forewarned and escaped.
John Ross denounced the murders but did nothing in aiding the capture of the killers.
He was accused of hiding them in his home by the now Watie faction while Ross denied involvement in the murders.
President Andrew Jackson wrote to Stand Watie now the leader of the former Ridge Oowatie faction and denounced Ross.
On March 7, 1862 Stand Watie was part of Earl Van Dorn's 16,000 man army in the area of Fayetteville Arkansas attempting to encircle the right flanks of Major General Curtis's 12,000 troops.
Curtis was on the defensive entrenched at Pea Ridge about thirty miles northeast of Fayetteville.
After two days of fighting Van Dorn was unable to penetrate and ended up withdrawing.
Stand Watie had distiquished himself by leading his command in capturing a Union artillery battery and by committing a skillful rear guard action stopping a disaster.
It was here during this action that Stand Watie was noticed by his superiors for his bravery and exceptional military abilities, which got him considered for a higher command in the Confederate Army.
The First Cherokee Mounted Rifles was formed on August 31, 1862 with Colonel Stand Watie commanding, with Lieutenant Colonel Calvin Parks second in command.
This unit along with other adopted the Cherokee Braves flag as their regimental colours.
After Pea Ridge many of the Cherokees left the war, but Stand Watie and his Cherokee Braves remained for the duration of the war scouring the region using guerilla warfare, cutting Union supply lines and disrupting Federal operations throughout the Indian Territory.
He was feared by his loyal Cherokee counterparts for the next three years.
On May 10, 1864 he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General, the only Native American to reach the rank of General.
Along with this first, he was also the last Confederate General officer to formally surrender to the Union two months after Appomattox and Bentonville.
His formal surrender was issued on June 25, 1865.
Watie had displayed unfailing devotion and bravery during his service to the Confederacy.
He died on September 9, 1871 and was laid to rest at Polson Cemetery in Delaware County, Oklahoma.
In 1995 the US postal Service issued a set of 20 commemorative stamps showing 16 individuals and 4 battles of the Civil War.
Stand Watie was one of those honored along with others such as Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Joseph Johnston, Frederick Douglas, Clara Barton, and William Tecumseh Sherman.
December 26 1861 (Thursday)
The pro-Union faction rallied around Cherokee Chief Opothleyahola who was 80 years old, strongly anti-South and loyal to the federal government.
Opposed to them was a group of pro-Confederate Cherokees, principally slave owning mixed bloods, led by 55 year old Stand Watie (the lone Indian survivor who had signed the treaty agreeing to give up the Cherokee homeland in the east).
These opposing forces had skirmished throughout the fall and had fought savagely for more than four hours on December 9th.
When Union Departmental Commander Major-General David Hunter decided to withdraw into winter quarters the Confederate pursuit of Opothleyahola was renewed.
On this date, in bitter cold weather, a mixed force of 1,400 Texas and Arkansas cavalrymen combined with Stand Watie's Cherokee regiment and fell on Opothleyahola's camp at Shoal Creek.
Scores of loyalist Indians were killed and taken prisoner and any Union threat in Indian Territory was crushed.
Opothleyahola and 10,000 other loyalist Indians fled to Kansas there they "huddled in squalid shelters of tree branches and rags clustered around the Union Army."
One Indian Agent reported the "destitution, misery and suffering amongst them is beyond the power of any pen to portray, it must be seen to be realized."
The following letter was captured by Confederate forces after the battle.
Copies of letters taken in Hopoeithleyohola's camp.
September 10, 1861.
Your letter by Micco Hutka is received.
You will send a delegation of your best men to meet the commissioner of the United States Government in Kansas.
I am authorized to inform you that the President will not forget you.
Our Army will soon go South, and those of your people who are true and loyal to the Government will be treated as friends.
Your rights to property will be respected.
The commissioners from the Confederate States have deceived you.
They have two tongues.
They wanted to get the Indians to fight, and they would rob and plunder you if they can get you into trouble.
But the President is still alive.
His soldiers will soon drive these men who have violated your homes from the land they have treacherously entered.
When your delegates return to you they will be able to inform you when and where your moneys will be paid.
Those who stole your orphan funds will be punished, and you will learn that the people who are true to the Government which so long protected you are your friends.
Your friend and brother, E. H. CARRUTH,
Commissioner of U. S. Government,
Responding to increasing lawlessness and guerrilla activity martial law declared in St. Louis, and along all railroads operating in Missouri.
Location: Mayes County
Campaign: Operations to Control Indian Territory (1863)
Date(s): July 1-2, 1863
Principal Commanders: Col. James M. Williams [US]; Col. Stand Watie [CS]
Forces Engaged: Detachments from nine units [US]; two regiments and detachments from two other units (approx. 1,600-1,800) [CS]
Estimated Casualties: 88 total (US 23; CS 65)
Description: Col. James M. Williams of the First Kansas Colored Infantry led a Union supply train from Fort Scott, Kansas, to Fort Gibson, Oklahoma (then Indian Territory).
As he approached the crossing of Cabin Creek, he learned that Confederate Col. Stand Watie, with about 1,600 to 1,800 men intended to assault him there.
Watie was waiting for about 1,500 reinforcements under the command of Brig. Gen. William L. Cabell to join him before attacking the supply train.
Cabell, however, was detained due to high water on Grand River.
Cabin Creek also had high water, preventing a crossing at first, but when it had receded enough, Williams drove the Confederates off with artillery fire and two cavalry charges.
The wagon train continued to Fort Gibson and delivered the supplies, making it possible for the Union forces to maintain their presence in Indian territory and take the offensive that resulted in a victory at Honey Springs and the fall of Fort Smith, Arkansas.
Result(s): Union victory
CWSAC Reference #: OK006
Preservation Priority: III.3 (Class C)
Six Days One Summer: The Civil War in Fort Smith and Confederate Attack of 1864
By Tom Wing, Park Ranger
Fearing that Arkansas would secede and that his men would not be able to defend the post, Sturgis evacuated Fort Smith April 23, 1861.
Within hours, state militia came up the Arkansas River from Little Rock and took control of Fort Smith.
A month later Arkansas officially joined the Confederate States of America and the garrison at Fort Smith became a Confederate outpost.
Confederate troops from Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas, and even Indian Territory would assemble and drill at the newly acquired stronghold.
Fort Smith was a staging area for the Battles of Wilson's Creek in Missouri, as well as Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove in Arkansas.
With the Confederate defeat at these two battles and Missouri firmly under Federal control, Rebel strategy changed in Northwest Arkansas.
The Confederate Transmississippi Department would adopt a plan that included the disruption of communication, raids on supply trains, and general small unit actions that would shake Federal control in Missouri, Northwest Arkansas, and Indian Territory.
This strategy was designed to draw much needed Federal personnel west, away from Vicksburg and the eastern campaigns.
1863 was a turning point in the war not only in the campaigns East of the Mississippi, but for Arkansas and Indian Territory as well.
The Union victory at Honey Springs July 17, 1863 would allow the Federal troops to control Indian Territory and pave the way for Federal reoccupation of Fort Smith which occurred September 2nd.
Union General James Blunt pursued the fleeing Confederate forces and caught them at Devils Backbone near Greenwood.
The Confederate rear guard turned and made a stand on the ridge south of Fort Smith.
The action bought valuable time for the rest of the Confederates moving towards Waldron.
With Fort Smith and Little Rock under Federal control, the Confederate strategy would become a means of survival for Rebel forces west of the Mississippi.
Knowing the importance of Fort Smith, General Samuel Curtis ordered a fortification line to be built on the outskirts of the city.
Local citizens and Federal troops worked February, through May 1864, digging rifle pits, trenches, and artillery emplacements.
Two of these emplacements one the Texas road and the other on the Van Buren road were blockhouses, constructed with quarters for hundreds of men.
As early as March 1864, Cherokee Confederate Colonel Stand Watie, had his eye on Fort Smith as a possible target.
Information obtained from a citizen loyal to the confederacy living in Fort Smith helped Watie to decide to eventually attack the post.
Resident John Toothman, reported the following in May,
"...2100 men and 6 pieces of artillery, they are still fortifying as fast as they can..."
By July, the time was right for the attack.
Watie, now a General together with General Richard Gano, a distinguished officer who had been under John Hunt Morgan's command earlier in the war, began a series of attacks and demonstrations against Fort Smith on July 27th.
The purpose of these actions was to determine the strength of the Union garrison with a view towards possible reoccupation.
The attack on Massard Prairie was part of a plan to lure Federal Cavalry units out of Fort Smith and defeat them south of the town.
Approximately 600 men under the command of Col. S.N. Folsum routed the Federal camp on Massard Prairie and retreated south on the Fort Towson road where two other detachments awaited in ambush.
The Federal horses where in bad shape due to the extreme heat and lack of good forage, as a result, the cavalrymen pursued only a short distance.
On July 28, Watie, no doubt disappointed in the lack of Federal pursuit, was ordered to attack a Union camp across the Arkansas River.
This attack would be covered by a diversionary action on the fortifications.
On the 29th, Watie reported that the river was too high to cross and an alternative plan was developed.
After retiring to Skullyville on the July 30, the entire Confederate column proceeded to move on Fort Smith. A detachment including Watie's son, Saladin, was sent up between the Arkansas and Poteau rivers.
While this detachment fired into the garrison, Troops led personally by General Watie came up the Fort Towson road driving in the pickets.
The Confederates helped themselves to a fine dinner prepared by the Federals.
Once recovered from the attack, the Federals again showed themselves along the line of fortifications.
Two companies of the First Kansas Colored Infantry tangled with Watie's Confederates from the rifle pits which extended from the Towson road to the Poteau River.
A Confederate light battery of mountain howitzers was brought up and was just gaining the upper hand when two sections of the 2nd Kansas Battery, armed with 10 pounder Parrot guns drove off the Rebel battery in 15 minutes of firing.
Private Henry Strong, of Co A, 12th Kansas Volunteer Infantry described the action
"The 2nd Kansas Battery were soon playing on them pretty lively and forced them to fall back...considerable firing with artillery".
The Confederate artillery fire had been effective, wounding Col. Judson of the 6th Kansas Cavalry but even more devastating was the fire of the larger Federal guns.
One shell exploded among the Rebel battery horses, killing three and wounding several. One shot also decapitated a Confederate soldier in Gano's command.
General Douglas Cooper's personal escort, under heavy fire, was successful in cutting the dead and wounded horses loose and dragging the much needed cannons away, preventing them from falling in enemy hands.
By now, darkness was approaching and the Confederates retreated about two miles south and camped for the night.
At dawn on August 1st, the detachment of Confederates between the two rivers again shelled the garrison continuing to fire at intervals throughout the day.
The Confederates maintained a cat and mouse game, shooting into the garrison and then moving to another position before the Federal guns could get a fix. No damage or casualties resulted from this action on either side.
By nightfall the Rebels had disappeared.
August 2, Company K of the 12th Kansas Infantry including Private Henry Strong was sent across the Poteau to cut down the trees and clear a field of fire.
The action of the previous six days seriously impacted the Federal garrison at Fort Smith.
Large numbers of refugees made their way into the fortification line seeking protection and placing much burden on the outpost at Fort Smith.
Throughout the rest of war thousands of former slaves and those disposessed by the fighting came to Fort smith seeking aid.
In February 1865, local citizens, endorsed by the military authorities, petitioned President Lincoln for food and supplies to last until crops could be planted and trade resumed.
General Lee arrived at the Mclean home shortly after 1:00 p.m. followed a half hour later by General Grant.
The meeting lasted approximately an hour and a half.
The surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia allowed the Federal Government to bring increased pressure to bear in other parts of the south and would result in the surrender of the remaining field armies of the Confederacy over the next few months.
On April 26th General Joseph Johnston surrendered to Major General W. T. Sherman near Durham, North Carolina (Bennett Place State Historical Park), on May 4th General Richard Taylor (son of Zachary Taylor 12th President of the United States) surrendered at Citronelle, Alabama, on June 2nd General Edmund Kirby Smith surrendered the Confederate Department of the Trans Mississippi to Major General Canby, and on June 23rd General Stand Watie surrendered Cherokee forces in Oklahoma.
Lieutenant General U. S. Grant wrote the terms for the surrender of the Confederate States Army of Northern Virginia in the form of a letter from himself to General Lee.
The terms of the letter were generous and would allow the former Confederates to return home feeling that they had been treated with respect and dignity.
Cherokee Relations with the U.S. Government "It is evident that the Gov'mt is determined to move us at all hazzards and it only remains for us to do the best we can."
- Lewis Ross to his brother John; April 12, 1838 Introduction Beginning in 1791 a series of treaties between the United States and the Cherokees living in Georgia gave recognition to the Cherokee as a nation with their own laws and customs.
Nevertheless, treaties and agreements gradually whittled away at this land base, and in the late 1700s some Cherokees sought refuge from white interference by moving to northwestern Arkansas between the White and Arkansas Rivers.
As more and more land cessions were forced on the Cherokees during the first two decades of the 1800s, the number moving to Arkansas increased.
Then in 1819, the Cherokee National Council notified the federal government that it would no longer cede land, thus hardening their resolve to remain on their traditional homelands.
States' Rights issue The Cherokee situation was further complicated by the issue of states' rights and a prolonged dispute between Georgia and the federal government.
In 1802, Georgia was the last of the original colonies to cede its western lands to the federal government.
In doing so, Georgia expected all titles to land held by Indians to be extinguished.
However, that did not happen, and the Principal People continued to occupy their ancestral homelands, which had been guaranteed to them by treaty.
Georgia residents resented the Cherokees' success in holding onto their tribal lands and governing themselves.
Settlers continued to encroach on Cherokee lands, as well as those belonging to the neighboring Muscogee (Creek) Indians.
In 1828, Georgia passed a law pronouncing all laws of the Cherokee Nation to be null and void after June 1, 1830, forcing the issue of states' rights with the federal government.
Because the state no longer recognized the rights of the Cherokees, tribal meetings had to be held just across the state line at Red Clay, Tennessee.
When gold was discovered on Cherokee land in northern Georgia in 1829, efforts to dislodge the Principle People from their lands were intensified.
At the same time President Andrew Jackson began to aggressively implement a broad policy of extinguishing Indian land titles in affected states and relocating the Indian population.
Supreme Court Cases In 1830 Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, which directed the executive branch to negotiate for Indian lands.
This act, in combination with the discovery of gold and an increasingly untenable position within the state of Georgia, prompted the Cherokee Nation to bring suit in the U.S. Supreme Court.
In United States v. Georgia (1831) Chief Justice John Marshall, writing for the majority, held that the Cherokee nation was a "domestic independent nation," and therefore Georgia state law applied to them.
That decision, however, was reversed the following year in Worcester v. Georgia. Under an 1830 law Georgia required all white residents in Cherokee country to secure a license from the governor and to take an oath of allegiance to the state. Missionaries Samuel A. Worcester and Elizur Butler refused and were convicted and imprisoned.
Worcester appealed to the Supreme Court.
This time the court found that Indian nations are capable of making treaties, that under the Constitution treaties are the supreme law of the land, that the federal government had exclusive jurisdiction within the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation, and that state law had no force within the Cherokee boundaries.
Worcester was ordered released from jail.
President Jackson refused to enforce the court's decision, and along with legal technicalities, the fate of the Principle People seemed to be in the hands of the federal government.
Even though the Cherokee people had adopted many practices of the white culture, and had used the court system in two major Supreme Court cases, they were unable to halt the removal process.
Treaty of New Echota The state of Georgia continued to press for Indian Lands, and a group of Cherokees known as the Treaty Party began negotiating a treaty with the federal government.
The group, led by Major Ridge and including his son John, Elias Boudinot, and his brother Stand Watie, signed a treaty at New Echota in 1835.
Despite the majority opposition to this treaty - opposition that was led by Principal Chief John Ross - the eastern lands were sold for $5 million, and the Cherokees agreed to move beyond the Mississippi River to Indian Territory.
The senate ratified the treaty despite knowledge that only a minority of Cherokees had accepted it.
Within two years the Principal People were to move from their Ancestral homelands.
Driven from their settlements in Oklahoma to refugee camps in Kansas by Confederate and Cherokee troops under Generals Albert Pike and Stand Watie, Indians loyal to the Union were pressuring federal troops in Kansas to restore them to their homes before winter.
In response, James G. Blunt, commander of the Union Department of Kansas and loyal Jim Lane supporter, massed white and Indian troops at Fort Leavenworth in preparation for a southern invasion into Oklahoma.
Blunt, a frontier doctor in Kansas before the war whose only previous military service had been as a seaman during his youth in Maine, put Col. William Weer, another Lane jayhawker and notorious alcoholic, in charge of the "Indian Expedition."
From his headquarters at Little Rock, General Hindman ordered the eccentric Gen. Albert Pike, to move north to defend the Oklahoma-Kansas border.
Pike, however, heeded his own counsel and remained at Fort McCulloch, a fortified camp he established in the Choctaw territory north of the Red River, firm in his personal belief that Indian troops should be used only to defend their home territory.
Hindman obliged, and on June 26, in a move calculated to draw Pike nearer to Arkansas, put Clarkson in command of all Confederate troops within the limits of the Cherokee, Creek, and Seminole nations, effectively reducing Pike’s domain by half.
He was approved to raise his single battalion strength to a full regiment of mounted men--using conscripts, if necessary, a policy for which Hindman was often criticized--and was authorized to requisition whatever commissary stores and ordnance he needed from Pike’s supplies at Fort Smith.
Hindman’s orders also gave Clarkson the authority to arrest, try, and punish any officer, soldier, or citizen in Oklahoma guilty of offenses against the Confederate government or the Indian government.
The responsibility of carrying out death penalties, however, was to be deferred to General Pike.39
Abandoning all military protocol, Pike openly criticized his commander for promoting Clarkson, whom he still considered only a Missouri State Guard colonel, over two or three other Confederate Indian colonels who were superior to him in date of rank.
He also complained to Confederate Secretary of War George Randolph that Hindman had transferred out his surgeon and had undermined his command by allowing Clarkson and others direct access to his quartermaster.
Weer’s command included infantry, cavalry, and artillery units from Kansas, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Indiana, as well as several pro-Union Indian regiments.
Again, General Hindman ordered Pike to move up to confront Weer’s Expedition, and again, Pike declined.
Clarkson was eager to challenge Weer and his old Kansas adversaries and had gone out well-equipped.
His cumbersome mule-drawn supply train contained clothing, tents, guns, and nearly 100 kegs of gunpowder, all requisitioned from Pike’s personal stores at Fort Smith.
Col. Stand Watie’s Cherokees camped at their salt mills on Spavinaw Creek, some twenty to thirty miles away.
At daybreak July 3, 1862, soldiers of the 6th Kansas Cavalry fell on Stand Watie's Cherokees, seized their supplies and most of their horses, and drove the mixed-bloods in flight toward the Arkansas River.
Charles Hicks, Tsalagi (Cherokee) Vice Chief on the Trail of Tears, August 4, 1838
We would be better pleased with beholding the good effects of these doctrines in your own practices, than with hearing you talk about them".
Old Tassel, Chief of the Tsalagi (Cherokee)
They leave scarcely a name of our people except those wrongly recorded by their destroyers.
Where are the Delewares?
They have been reduced to a mere shadow of their former greatness.
We had hoped that the white men would not be willing to travel beyond the mountains.
Now that hope is gone.
They have passed the mountains, and have settled upon Tsalagi (Cherokee) land.
They wish to have that usurpation sanctioned by treaty.
When that is gained, the same encroaching spirit will lead them upon other land of the Tsalagi (Cherokees).
New cessions will be asked.
Finally the whole country, which the Tsalagi (Cherokees) and their fathers have so long occupied, will be demanded, and the remnant of the Ani Yvwiya, The Real People, once so great and formidable, will be compelled to seek refuge in some distant wilderness.
There they will be permitted to stay only a short while, until they again behold the advancing banners of the same greedy host.
Not being able to point out any further retreat for the miserable Tsalagi (Cherokees), the extinction of the whole race will be proclaimed. Should we not therefore run all risks, and incur all consequences, rather than to submit to further loss of our country? Such treaties may be alright for men who are too old to hunt or fight.
As for me, I have my young warriors about me.
We will hold our land."
Chief Dragging Canoe, Chickamauga Tsalagi (Cherokee)
We cannot expect to do this without serious losses and many privations, but we possess the spirit of our fathers, and are resolved never to be enslaved by an inferior race, and trodden under the feet of an ignorant and insolent foe, we, the Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, Seminoles, and Tsalagi (Cherokees), never can be conquered..." Confederate General Stand Waitie, Tsalagi (Cherokee)
by Lars Gjertveit
He owned a plantation and mill at Honey Creek in the Illinois District of the Cherokee Nation.
(2nd Cherokee Mounted Volunteers [designation changed to 1st Regiment about Dec 62, after Drew’s regiment had disbanded], Watie’s Regiment Cherokee Mounted Rifles)
Stand Watie, promoted Brig Gen 6 May 64; James Madison Bell, promoted and transferred from Lt Col of the 2nd Regt after Watie became general.
Thomas Fox Taylor, KIA 27 Jul 62, Bayou Menard (n. Fort Gibson);
Robert Calvin Parks, replaced Taylor ( from Capt, 1st Co B) killed by a fellow officer in a personal difficulty at Fort Washita in April 1864;
Clement Neeley Vann, succeeded Parks (prev pvt Co K, Drew’s Regt?)
Elias Cornelius Boudinot, after reorganization elected Cherokee delegate to Congress, Col and Vol ADC on Maj Gen T C Hindman’s staff in Dec 62;
Joseph Franklin Thompson, (from Capt, 1st Co I); Erasmus J Howland, succeeded Thompson in 1864 (from Capt, 2nd Co D).
1st Lt Thomas F Anderson (from pvt, 1st Co H) to Brigade AAG 1864
Assistant Quarter Master: 1st Lt George W Adair, died April 62; 1st Lt William Penn Adair, to Col of 2nd Regt 3 Feb 63; 1st Lt Johnson Thompson
Asst. Commissary of Subsistence: 1st Lt Joseph M Starr, Sr, until 62;
1st Lts Oliver W Lipe (from pvt, 2nd Co G) resigned 3 Jun 63;
Peter G Lynch (from pvt, 2nd Co B),
Samuel M Ware (from pvt, 2nd Co A)
Assistant Surgeon: Capt William D Polson, resigned 1 Jul 62; Capt Francis H Fisk (from drill instr, 1st Co I)
Chaplain: Rev J N Slover
Sergeant Major: George W West, KIA 20 May 63; R M Morgan (from sgt, 1st Co C),
H Lincoln Foreman (from pvt, 2nd Co D),
Patrick Patton (from 1st Sgt, 2nd Co A)
John G Schrimsher (from pvt, 2nd Co G)
Hospital Steward: Jasper Polson, Ben Trott
Company B. Robert Calvin Parks, to Lt Col after reorganization.
Company C. Daniel H Coody
Company D. James Madison Bell, to Lt Col of the 2nd Regiment 3 Feb 63.
Company E. Joseph Franklin Thompson (prev in the Arkansas State service) to Major after reorganization.
Company F. Joseph F Smallwood
Company G. George H Starr
Company H. John Thompson Mayes
Company I. George W Johnson
Company K. James H Thompson.
This company became Co H, Clarkson’s Battalion, Independent Rangers 14 July 62. This Bn was broken up in Nov 62, 5 cos merged into Clark’s Missouri Infantry Regiment.
Company L (aka J). Bluford West Alberty.
On July 12, 1861, Stand Watie received a commission from Brig Gen Benjamin McCulloch to raise a regiment.
At a mass meeting of the southern symphatizers among the Five Civilized tribes held at Old Fort Wayne, Delaware District, in the Cherokee Nation, on July 27, 1861, organization of the First Cherokee Regiment began.
After the twelve-month enlistment time expired, the regiment was reorganized around 12 July 1862 at Spavinaw Creek, Tahlequah District, for 2 years, with mostly new officers and many new men.
Note that the companies were not reorganized separately, rather a set of new companies were formed and new officers elected, although the majority of the men continued in service from the first organization.
Company B. Benjamin B Wisner (prev sgt, 1st Co D)
Company C. Charles Lowery (prev sgt, 1st Co E)
Company D. Erasmus J Howland (prev pvt, 1st Co G), to Major 1864; J S Knight (from 1st Lt)
Company E. Alexander Foreman (prev pvt, 1st Co C ), removed 25 June 63;
John W Brown (from 1st Lt)
Company F. Dumplin O Fields (prev pvt, 1st Co D)
Company G. James L Butler
Company H. John Spears, to Frye’s - Scales’ Battalion, John Foster ? (from 1st Lt)
Company I. Moses C Frye (prev Sgt, 1st Co I) to Major of Frye’s Bn about June 63;
William W Alexander (from 1st Lt)
Company K. James Stuart (prev 1st Sgt, 1st Co H)
Acridge’s Company. William H Acridge Became Co G, 2nd Regt on 3 Feb 63.
Alberty’s Company. Bluford West Alberty. Became Co B, 2nd Regt on 3 Feb 63.
Brewer’s Company. O H Perry Brewer (prev 1st Lt, 1st Co C) Became Co F, 2nd Regt on 3 Feb 63.
Patton’s Company. D C Patton Became Co E, 2nd Regt on 3 Feb 63
Vann’s Company. John Vann (prev pvt, 1st Co C) Became Co I, 2nd Regt on 3 Feb 63.
Company A was mustered in 12 May 62 in Maysville, Ark.
Companies B to K, plus Acridge’s, Alberty’s, Brewer’s, and Patton’s are all on record as having enlisted 12 July 1862 at Spavinaw Creek, Tahlequah District, Cherokee Nation. On September 1, 1862, another company - John Vann’s - was added, made up mostly of loyal men from Drew’s late regiment.
The five unnumbered companies were on February 3, 1863, merged with Bryan’s 1st Battalion, Cherokee Partisan Rangers to form the 2nd (Adair’s) Cherokee Mounted Volunteers.
Stand Watie Stamp
Official first day of issue ceremonies were held in front of the Cyclorama Center at the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.
A pictorial cancellation showing a Civil War cannon was available at the ceremony.
However, as the Postal Service also released the set of stamps nationwide, numerous unofficial first day of issue cancellations were possible.
On the back of the stamp is the notation:
Stand Watie (De-ga-do-ga)
Stand Watie Stamp
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