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Watie, Stand

Stand Watie was born in the Cherokee Nation in northwest Georgia near present-day Rome on December 12, 1806. Watie was the brother of Elias Boudinot, cousin of John Ridge, and nephew of Major Ridge. He became a successful planter but incurred the wrath of many fellow Cherokees when he signed the Treaty of New Echota, which forced the Cherokees to give up their lands in Georgia and move west to the Indian Territory (in what is present-day Oklahoma).  In 1839, Boudinot, along with John and Major Ridge would be assassinated for their part in signing the treaty. Watie was forewarned of the assassination plot and escaped. At the time of the outbreak of the Civil War, Watie was a planter and slave-owner in the Indian Territory. He sided with the Confederacy and was commissioned as a colonel in July 1861. 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.  In June 1865, Watie became the last Confederate general to surrender his command. He died on September 9, 1871 in Delaware City, Oklahoma. On June 29, 1995, the U.S. Postal Service issued a Stand Watie commemorative stamp.

Watie, Stand View large image

Source: Collection of Ed Jackson