Stand Tahkahtokah Watie
|Also Known As:||"Brig. General", "CSA", "Principal Chief"|
|Birthplace:||Cherokee Nation, Georgia (near present day Rome, Georgia)|
|Death:||Died in Oklahoma, United States|
Son of David Oo-Watie and Susannah Charity Watie
|Managed by:||Private User|
Historical records matching Stand Watie, Brig. General, CSA, Principal Chief
About Stand Watie, Brig. General, CSA, Principal Chief
Born at Oothcaloga in the Cherokee Nation, Georgia (near present day Rome, Georgia) on December 12, 1806, Stand Watie's Cherokee name was De-ga-ta-ga, or "he stands." He also was known as Isaac S. Watie. He attended Moravian Mission School at Springplace Georgia, and served as a clerk of the Cherokee Supreme Court and Speaker of the Cherokee National Council prior to removal.
As a member of the Ridge-Watie-boundinot faction of the Cherokee Nation, Watie supported removal to the Cherokee Nation, West, and signed the Treaty of New Echota in 1835, in defiance of Principal Chief John Ross and the majority of the Cherokees. Watie moved to the Cherokee Nation, West (present-day Oklahoma), in 1837 and settled at Honey Creek. Following the murders of his uncle Major Ridge, cousin John Ridge, and brother Elias Boundinot (Buck Watie) in 1839, and his brother Thomas Watie in 1845, Stand Watie assumed the leadership of the Ridge-Watie-Boundinot faction and was involved in a long-running blood feud with the followers of John Ross. He also was a leader of the Knights of the Golden Circle, which bitterly opposed abolitionism.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, Watie quickly joined the Southern cause. He was commissioned a colonel on July 12, 1861, and raised a regiment of Cherokees for service with teh Confederate army. Later, when Chief John Ross signed an alliance with the South, Watie's men were organized as the Cherokee Regiment of Mounted Rifles. After Ross fled Indian Territory, Watie was elected principal chief of the Confederate Cherokees in August 1862.
A portion of Watie's command saw action at Oak Hills (August 10, 1861) in a battle that assured the South's hold on Indian Territory and made Watie a Confederate military hero. Afterward, Watie helped drive the pro-Northern Indians out of Indian Territory, and following the Battle of Chustenahlah (December 26, 1861) he commanded the pursuit of hte fleeing Federals, led by Opothleyahola, and drove them into exile in Kansas. Although Watie's men were exempt from service outside Indian Territory, he led his troops into Arkansas in the spring of 1861 to stem a Federal invasion of the region. Joining with Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn's command, Watie took part in the Battle of Elkhorn Tavern (March 5-6, 1861). On the first day of fighting, the Southern Cherokees, which were on the left flank of the Confederate line, captured a battery of Union artillery before being forced to abandon it. Following the Federal victory, Watie's command screened the southern withdrawal.
Watie, or troops in his command, participated in eighteen battles and major skirmishes with Federal troop during the Civil War, including Cowskin Prairie (April 1862), Old Fort Wayne (October 1862), Webber's Falls (April 1863), Fort Gibson (May 1863), Cabin Creek (July 1863), and Gunter's Prairie (August 1864). In addition, his men were engaged in a multitude of smaller skirmishes and meeting engagements in Indian Territory and neighboring states. Because of his wide-ranging raids behind Union lines, Watie tied down thousands of Federal troops that were badly needed in the East.
Watie's two greatest victories were the capture of the federal steam boat J.R. Williams on June 15, 1864, and the seizure of $1.5 million worth of supplies in a federal wagon supply train a the Second battle of Cabin Creek on September 19, 1864. Watie was promoted to brigadier general on May 6, 1864, and given command of the first Indian Brigade. He was the only Indian to achieve the rank of general in the Civil War. Watie surrendered on June 23, 1865, the last Confederate general to lay down his arms.
After the war, Watie served as a member of the Southern Cherokee delegation during the negotiation of the Cherokee Reconstruction Treaty of 1866. He then abandoned public life and returned to his old home along Honey Creek. He died on September 9, 1871.
Stand Watie (December 12, 1806 – September 9, 1871) (also known as Standhope Oowatie, Degataga "stand firm" and Isaac S. Watie) was a leader of the Cherokee Nation and a brigadier general of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. He commanded the Confederate Indian cavalry made up mostly of Cherokee, Creek and Seminole.
He served as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation 1862-1866.
Watie was born in Oothcaloga, Cherokee Nation (now Calhoun, Georgia) on December 12, 1806, the son of Uwatie (Cherokee for "the ancient one"), who went by his Christian name of David Uwatie, and Susanna Reese, who was of Cherokee and European heritage. He was the brother of Gallegina "Buck" Watie (Elias Boudinot). The brothers were nephews of Major Ridge, and cousins to John Ridge. By 1827, David Uwatie had become a wealthy slave-owning planter. Stand Watie, who was also a Christian, was given the name of Isaac Oowatie; however, he preferred the English translation of his Cherokee name Takertawker ("Stand Firm"). Later, the "U" was dropped from "Uwatie" and the family name became Watie.
Stand Watie learned to read and write English at a mission school in Georgia, and occasionally helped write for the Cherokee Phoenix newspaper, which led him into the dispute over the Georgia state repressive anti-Indian laws. Later, when gold was discovered on Cherokee lands in northern Georgia, thousands of white settlers encroached on Indian lands. In spite of federal treaties protecting Indians from state actions, in 1832 Georgia confiscated most of the Cherokee land and the Georgia militia destroyed the Cherokee Phoenix.
The Watie brothers stood in favor of the Removal of the Cherokee to Oklahoma and were members of the Ridge Party that signed the Treaty of New Echota. The anti-Removal Ross Party (elected democratically by the majority) refused to ratify it. Watie, his family, and many other Cherokees emigrated to the West. Those Cherokees (and their slaves) who remained on tribal lands in the East were forcibly removed by the U.S. government in 1838 in a journey known as the "Trail of Tears," during which thousands died. The Ross Party targeted Stand and Buck Watie and the Ridge family for assassination and, of the four men mentioned above, only Stand Watie managed to escape with his life.
Watie, a slave holder, started a successful plantation on Spavinaw Creek in the Indian Territory. He served on the Cherokee Council from 1845 to 1861, serving part of that time as speaker.
Civil War service
Watie was one of only two Native Americans on either side of the Civil War to rise to a brigadier general's rank. The other was Ely S. Parker, an Iroquois who fought on the Union side.
General Stand Watie
After Chief John Ross and the Cherokee Council decided to support the Confederacy, Watie organized a regiment of cavalry. In October 1861, he was commissioned as colonel in the First Cherokee Mounted Rifles. Although he fought Federal troops, he also led his men in fighting between factions of the Cherokee, as well as against the Creek and Seminole and others who chose to support the Union. Watie is noted for his role in the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, a Union victory, on March 6–8, 1862. Watie's troops captured Union artillery positions and covered the retreat of Confederate forces from the battlefield.
After Cherokee support for the Confederacy fractured, Watie continued to lead the remnant of his cavalry. He was promoted to brigadier general by General Samuel Bell Maxey, and was given the command of the First Indian Brigade, composed of 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. They fought in a number of battles and skirmishes in the western Confederate states, including the Indian Territory, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and Texas. Watie's force reportedly fought in more battles west of the Mississippi River than any other unit. Watie was also a participant in what is considered to be the greatest Confederate victory in Indian Territory, which took place at Cabin Creek during mid-September, 1864, where he and General Richard Montgomery Gano led a raid that captured a Federal wagon train and netted approximately one million dollars worth of wagons, mules, commisary supplies, and other needed items.
During the war General Watie's family remained with other Confederate and former Ridge Party Cherokees in Rusk and Smith Counties of east Texas. This community known at times as the Mount Tabor Community and also by the town name of Bellview, Texas, allowed warriors to stay out on campaigns, knowing that their wives and children were in relative safety. Although hardships in east Texas did exist, this knowledge helped form the Cherokee and allied warriors into the potent Confederate fighting force that held Union troops out of southern Indian Territory and large parts of north Texas throughout the war.
On June 23, 1865, at Fort Towson in the Choctaw Nation's area of the Indian Territory, Watie signed a cease-fire agreement with Union representatives, becoming the last Confederate general in the field to stand down.
In 1863, after John Ross fled the Cherokee Nation for Washington, D.C., Stand Watie was elected principal chief of the Cherokee Nation.
Stand Watie, Brig. General, CSA, Principal Chief's Timeline
December 12, 1806
Cherokee Nation, Georgia (near present day Rome, Georgia)
October 9, 1854