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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

January 13, 1862

Newspaper Claimed U.S. Responsible for Cherokee Removal

The Richmond Times Dispatch of Virginia carried an item on the Cherokee Indians fighting for the Confederacy; this piece claimed the United States was responsible for the Cherokee removal in 1838-39, and that was why they were now fighting against their “persecutors.”

…the Cherokee Indians had joined the Confederate States of America, and had raised a regiment of cavalry to reinforce President Davis. The moral importance of this event will be understood when it is recollected that the Cherokees are one of the rare Indian tribes who have renounced a wandering life to establish themselves in a fixed locality. They constructed a town in Georgia, in which they established schools, a printing press, and a newspaper written in their own language. It was under the energetic and intelligent impulse of John Ross, their chief, that they made this progress in civilization. But the Northern Americans, in place of encouraging them, looked on them with a jealous eye, for reasons easily understood. They took advantage of the absence of their chief to attack their town, destroyed it, and drove out the inhabitants, to seek shelter in the Far West, where John Ross collected the fugitives. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Cherokees should be delighted to have an opportunity of fighting against their persecutors.