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Friday, June 8, 2012

Civil War Photo Friday: Cherokee Confederates Reunion, 1903

This fascinating photo shows a reunion of Cherokee Confederates that took place in New Orleans in 1903. Like many other Native American tribes, the Cherokee were split in their loyalties. Some sided with the Confederacy since they were slaveholders and wanted to get back at a Federal government that had treated them horribly. Others sided with the Union in the hope that their loyalty would be rewarded with better treatment for their people. Well all know how well that worked out.

Native Americans fought in many battles and campaigns in the Trans-Mississippi Theater. Stand Watie, a Cherokee, became a brigadier general in the Confederate army. He was the last Confederate general to surrender, not giving up until June 23, 1865, more than two months after Lee had surrender at Appomattox.

The Indian Territory (modern Oklahoma) was torn apart by rival factions backing opposing sides and by Union and Confederate campaigns. In addition to battlefield casualties, many civilians died from starvation and exposure when they had to flee their homes. It's safe to say the Indian Territory suffered as bad as any place in the Civil War.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

5 comments:

  1. My gg-grandfather, John H Clark, fought under Stand Watie. I am trying to find the letter about my other ancestor that fought at Elkhorn Tavern aka Pea Ridge to Yankees

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    1. When you find it, I'd be honored to publish it here.

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  2. Interesting information, Sean. I like learning about the Cherokees, having come from the South originally. Unfortunately, the natives and the blacks who served early in the US armies were mostly taken for granted.

    That's one of the sad truths in US history. In some instances, the locals recognized the sacrifice, but at a higher level, not so much.

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  3. Yeah, unfortunately it didn't work out well for them...

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  4. But that's something that boggles the mind, thinking about aging Civil War vets. I know slightly more about aging American Revolution vets. It's just something that could use a little more attention.

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