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Interesting US History
A Website Devoted to Interesting Events in U.S. History





June 22, 2009

Stand Watie

Born in present day Calhoun, Georgia on December 12, 1806, Stand Watie supported the removal of the Cherokee Indians to what was referred to as Cherokee Nation, West (present-day Oklahoma) in the 1830’s. He was also a leader of the Knights of the Golden Circle, which opposed the abolition of slavery.

When the Civil War began, Watie immediately sided with the Southern cause and became a colonel on July 12, 1861. Watie was very familiar with Indian territory and his service to the south was extremely valuable. Watie and his men played an important role in the Battle of Oak Hills on August 10, 1861 which assured the South’s hold on Indian Territory and made Waite a Confederate military hero. Afterwards, Watie helped drive the pro-Northern Indians out of the Indian Territory and after the Battle of Chustenahlah in December of that year, he pursued the fleeing Northern troops and drove them into exile in Kansas.

Stand Watie was involved in eighteen battles and major skirmishes and a many smaller skirmishes in and around the Indian Territories during the Civil War and pre-occupied thousands of Union troops when they were desperately needed in the East. Watie was promoted to Brigadier General on May 6, 1864 and he was the last Confederate general to lay down his arms at the end of the war.

Although the accomplished Confederate General was known best by the name Stand Watie, he was known to the Cherokee by the name “De-ga-ta-ga”, which translates to “he stands” or “stand firm”. This was the name he was given when he was born a Cherokee in what used to be Oothcaloga, Cherokee Nation, Georgia. His father was Uwatie (the ancient one) and that is how he obtained his American name Stand Watie.

Besides his familiarity with the Indian Territory, the reason Stand Watie and his men did their fighting there is because as Cherokee they were restricted to that area by the Confederate government they were fighting for.

Mark Bowman

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 General Stand Watie's Confederate Indians

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