Stand Watie…Confederate General…Cherokee Chief

Stand Watie was a Confederate General and Cherokee Chief during the Civil War .Watie was born in 1806, near what is now Rome, Georgia. In 1836 Watie was one of the signers of the treaty, with the United States, that surrendered the native homeland and agreed to relocation in the Cherokee Nation in present day Oklahoma. He also was a leader of the Knights of the Golden Circle, which bitterly opposed abolitionism. Watie was a slave holder and owned a large and successful plantation in the Indian Territory.

At the onset of the Civil War,in 1861, Stand Watie accepted a commission as a Confederate Colonel and raised a regiment of Cherokee Mounted Rifles. Watie’s troops fought in several states including, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Texas.  In 1863, the Confederate hold on the Cherokee Nation was in question, however Colonel Watie continued his raiding of Union forces and his command included two regiments of Mounted Rifles and three battalions of Cherokee, Seminole and Osage infantry. These troops were based south of the Canadian River and periodically crossed the river into Union territory.

In 1864, after several notable victories, Watie was promoted to Brigadier General. Chief Watie was placed in overall command of the Indian Division of the Indian Territory in 1865. By this time the Civil War was all but over.

General Stand Watie and his troops capitulated on June 23, 1865, becoming the last Confederate General of the Civil War to surrender in the field.



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