Stand Watie (American National Biography)

Kenny A. Franks, "Watie, Stand," American National Biography Online, February 2000,
At the outbreak of the Civil War, Watie joined the southern cause. Commissioned a colonel in 1861, he raised a regiment of Cherokees for service in the Confederate army. …Watie’s men were renamed as the Second Cherokee Regiment of Mounted Rifles. After Ross fled Indian Territory, Watie was elected principal chief of the Confederate Cherokees in August 1862.

Watie and his regiment saw action at…a myriad of skirmishes. He became best known for guerrilla warfare, which pinned down thousands of Union troops. His two greatest victories came in 1864 with the capture of the Federal steamboat J. R. Williams and the seizure of $1.5 million worth of Federal supplies at the Second Battle of Cabin Creek. Watie was promoted to brigadier general in 1864 and was given command of the First Indian Brigade, thus becoming the only Native American to achieve the rank of general in the Civil War. The last Confederate general to lay down his arms, Watie surrendered on 23 June 1865.

After the war Watie served as a member of the southern Cherokee delegation during the negotiation of the Cherokee Reconstruction Treaty of 1866. He also served as a delegate to the General Council for the Indian Territory.… He was a participant in the Cherokee Tobacco Case in 1871, which was a landmark decision in Native American history in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that tribes were “independent dependent” nations within the framework of the United States and thereby were subject to federal law.
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