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 Last Confederate General to Surrender

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Date d'inscription : 29/06/2006

MessageSujet: Last Confederate General to Surrender   Mar 20 Nov - 23:03



Brigadier General Stand Watie, a Cherokee Indian
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MessageSujet: Re: Last Confederate General to Surrender   Mar 20 Nov - 23:06

On June 23, 1865, two months after Appomattox, the last Confederate general surrendered at Doaksville in what is now Oklahoma.


The general was Stand Watie, who also happened to be a Cherokee.


Watie, who had been educated at Moravian mission schools in Tennessee and was a successful planter in the Indian Territory, was the lone survivor of the four Cherokee leaders who signed the treaty authorizing the transfer of the Cherokee's homeland to the U.S. government. The others, including his brother, had been assassinated by tribal rivals.


A three-quarter Cherokee, Watie was described as "looking Indian" with a swarthy complexion and bowed legs from years on horseback. He also was said to speak little and then was, as Alvin Josephy writes, "brief, explosive, and to the point."


Civil war was not confined to white Americans during these years. The Cherokees themselves were facing a conflict of their own, divided between the followers of those who had consented to the removal from their traditional homelands to Indian Territory, what we now know as Oklahoma, and the followers of those who opposed it. There were also divisions between many of the full-blooded Cherokees, who, under the influence of northern missionaries, were pro-Union and the mixed-blood Cherokees who owned slaves and were pro-Confederacy. The principal Cherokee chief, John Ross, was anxious to remain neutral, declaring he would abide by the treaty he had made with the Federal government and declared the white's civil war was none of his concern.


Watie was one of the main rivals of Ross for power in the Cherokee nation and responded to calls for the tribe to throw in with the Confederacy. Ross was caught in a dilemma, fearing the southerners would support Watie in his bid to take power while also fearing supporting the Confederacy would anger his own followers who were supporters of the North. Ross' position was further complicated by the fact that he was only one-eighth Cherokee and owned slaves himself. However, in the beginning he said he would keep the tribe neutral in the conflict.


Ross, however, was forced by Watie's organization of a mixed-blood Cherokee regiment, the increasing isolation of the Cherokees from other tribes who were signing alliances with the Confederacy, and what at the time appeared to be the inevitable victory of the Confederacy over Union forces to negotiate a treaty of alliance with the south.
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MessageSujet: Re: Last Confederate General to Surrender   Mar 20 Nov - 23:13

The white Civil War exacerbated the Native American civil war among the Cherokees and other tribes in Indian Territory. Many pro-Union Cherokees streamed north to Kansas where they lived in refugee camps, many of the men enlisting in Native American regiments for the north. Several groups also changed alliances as the war progressed.


As the control of Indian lands seesawed between Indians allied with the opposing sides of the white conflict, supporters of one side were attacked, murdered, and plundered by the other. Added to this was the problem of groups of unaligned Indians taking advantage of the conflict to loot and kill supporters of both sides.


Watie himself was quite successful in his fights against both white Union forces and pro-northern Indians, often criticizing the white Confederates for their inaction. Watie was chiefly valuable for his raids against Union supply lines and forts. His reputation as one of the Union's most dangerous foes was cemented by his capture of the stern-wheeler J.R. Williams, a supply boat carrying more than $100,000 worth of provisions, mostly for pro-northern Indian refugees. For this action, the Confederacy promoted him to the rank of brigadier general and placed him in command of a brigade made up of all Confederate Indian units with the exception of the Choctaws and Chickasaws.


Watie participated in the Confederacy's biggest victory in Indian Territory on Sept. 19, 1864, when, in conjunction a brigade of 1,200 Texans, he, along with 800 Indian fighters, captured a northern supply train carrying $1,500,000 worth of food, clothing, medicine, guns, and ammunition, scattering the 600 man Union guard.


As northern victory became inevitable, Watie continued to wage guerilla warfare against Union troops until June 23, 1865, when he surrendered his southern Indian fighters to Federal forces, earning the historical distinction of being the last Confederate general to stop fighting.


Watie, although one of the most notable, was not the only Native American to fight for the south. And he, along with most of the other Confederate Indians, was recruited by one of the least known but most colorful figures of the Civil War, who deserves a chapter of his own.
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MessageSujet: Re: Last Confederate General to Surrender   Mar 20 Nov - 23:15

By LARRY ESKRIDGE
July 9, 2011 12:01 a.m.




(Editor's Note: This is the seventh in a planned series of articles commemorating the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War. All information in this article can be found in "The Civil War in the West" by Alvin M. Josephy, Jr., 1991)

origine de l'article
http://www.cantondailyledger.com/article/20110709/NEWS/307099997#art-tit
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MessageSujet: Re: Last Confederate General to Surrender   Aujourd'hui à 9:51

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