Brig. General Stand Watie

John Ross

Principle Cherokee, Indian Territory Civil War, 1861-1865
Courtesy Oklahoma Historical Society

As the Southern States seceeded from the Union in 1861, Indian Territory, now known as the state of Oklahoma, also felt the turmoil of the South. The Five Civilized Tribes had wanted to stay neutral, but, finally decided to cast their lot with the Confederate States of America. Some in the Nations stayed loyal to the Union, so as in the states in the east, the Nations were divided.

Governor Rector of Arkansas wrote Chief Ross on January 29, 1861 requesting the cooperation of the Cherokees with the Confederacy to which Chief answered avowing neutrality. The Chief by letters of May 17th, June 12th and 17 and in a proclamation of May 17th reiterated his stand for this principle.

On July 12th, Stand Watie, the political opponent of Chief Ross, organized his regiment to cooperate with the Confederacy, with the following officers: Captain: Stand Watie; First Lt. Buzzard; Second Lt. Wilson Saugee; Third Lt. Charles Edwin Watie; Orderly Sergeant Henry Forrester.

Their Service was in the Delaware District and Neutral Land, which was a legal part of that district. As other companies formed, they met near Fort Wayne on July 12, 1861, and became the Cherokee Mounted Rifle Regiment.

Not long after the formation of the First Cherokee Mounted Rifles, Joel Mayes Bryan organized and became Major of Bryan's Battalion.

The next Regiments organized were the First and Second Mounted Volunteers. Shortly after the organization of the Second Mounted Volunteers, Moses Frye organized a battalion and became it's Major. He was succeeded by Joseph Absalom Scales.

Chief Ross called a general convention of the Cherokees to meet at Tahlequah on August 21st. The Chief again urged neutrality and the convention passed resolutions in keeping with that sentiment. The Chief wrote General McCullough that "we are authorized to form an alliance with the Confederate States, which we are determined to do as early as practicable. This determination may give rise to movements against the Cherokee people upon their northern border. To be prepared for any such emergency, we have deemed it prudent to proceed to organize a regiment of mounted men and tender them for service. They will be raised forthwith, by Colonel John Drew, and if received by you, will require to be armed"

Chief Ross appointed the following officers for Drew's regiment:
Colonel: John Drew
Lieutenant Colonel: William Potter Ross
Major: Thomas Pegg
AdJutant: James S. Vann
Surgeon: Dr. James P. Evans
Chaplain: Lewis Downing.
Captains: Co. A, Jefferson D. Hicks; Co. B, Nicholas B. Sanders; Co. C, John Porum Davis; Co. D, Isaac N. Hildebrand; Co.E, James Vann; Co. F, Richard Fields; Co. G, George W. Scraper; Co. H, Edward R. Hicks; Co. I,Albert Pike; succeeded by Jefferson Hicks; Co. K, Pickens M. Benge; McDaniel's or 1st Reserve Company, James McDaniel

A treaty was concluded at Hunters Home, the residence of George M. Murrell on October 7, 1861 between the Confederate States and the Cherokee Nation and two days later Chief Ross delivered his message to the national council regarding the treaty between the Cherokee and the Confederate States of America

On October 28th, 1861, the Cherokee National Council issued a declaration of the causes which impelled them to unite their fortunes with those of the Confederate States of America.

For a brief excerpt of the book, read The Civil War Years

During the summer, 1861, Confederate Commissioner, Albert Pike, negotiated and completed treaties with the Nations/Tribes of Indian Territory.

Compiled from Official Records; United States War Department, List of Field Officers, Regiments and Battalions in the Confederate Army. These are only partial lists.


First Cherokee Mounted Rifles
First Regiment Cherokee Mounted Volunteers, Drew's Regiment
Second Regiment Mounted Volunteers
Cherokee Regiment (Special Services)
Third Regiment Volunteer Cavalry
First Battalion, Cherokee Calvary (Meyer's Battalion, Major Benjamin W. Meyer)
First Squadron, Cherokee Mounted Volunteers (Holt's Squadron)
First Battalion, Cherokee Calvary, Bryan's Battalion (Major J. M. Bryan)
First Regiment, Cherokee Mounted Rifle Regiment Colonel, Stand Watie, later Brig. General
Second Regiment, Cherokee Mounted Rifles
Frye's Battalion, Cherokee Calvary, Major Moses C. Frye
First Battalion , Partison Rangers
Cherokee Special Services Battalion
Scales' Battalion Cherokee Cavalry
Cherokee Infantry Battalion
Second Cherokee Artillery

First Battalion, Chickasaw Calvary, Lt. Col. Joseph D. Harris
First Regiment, Chickasaw Calvary, William L. Hunter
First Regiment Chickasaw Infantry
Sheco's Battalion, Chickasaw Cavalry, Mounted Volunteers. ,Lt. Col. Martin Sheco
First Chickasaw Infantry (Hunter's Regiment, Indian Volunteers), Major J. W. Pierce

First Regiment Choctaw Mounted Rifles
Capt. Wilkins's Co. Choctaw Infantry First Regiment, Choctaw Cavalry (also called First Choctaw War Regiment; formed from Battice's Battalion) Simpson N. Folsom
First Regiment, Choctaw Cavalry, Sampson Folsom
Third Regiment, Choctaw Cavalry (formed from First Choctaw Battalion), Jackson McCurtain
First Regiment, Choctaw and Chickasaw Mounted Rifles, Douglas H. Cooper
Second Regiment, Choctaw and Chickasaw Mounted Rifles, Tandy Walker
Second Regiment Choctaw Cavalry
Deneale's Regiment, Choctaw Warriors (Deneale's Confederate Volunteers)
Folsom'sBattalion Choctaw Mounted Rifles
Capt. John Wilkin's Company Choctaw Infantry

First Regiment Creek Mounted Volunteers (1st Regiment, Creek Mounted Rifles or Riflemen, Creek Regiment, Mounted Indian Volunteers, 2nd Regiment, Arkansas Creeks), Daniel N. McIntosh
Second Regiment, Creek Cavalry Volunteers, Chilly McIntosh
Second Regiment Creek Mounted Volunteers(Special Service)
First Battalion Creek Cavalry

First Battalion Seminole Mounted Volunteers, Lt. Colonel John Jumper
First Regiment Seminole Mounted Volunteers

Northwest Frontier Command of Indian Territory, Col. Roswell Lee
First Osage Battalion, CSA Major Broke Arm
Washington's Squadron of Indians, CSA (Reserve Squadron of Cavalry) Major George Washington, Caddo
Major James W. Cooper's Battalion

Texas troopers also fought in Indian Territory. This is some of those Units. Later, in 1863/64 many of the units were sent east of the Mississippi to fight.

3rd Texas Cavalry Regiment AKA. South Kansas-Texas Regiment
Col.: Robert H. Chumley, Elkanah Greer, Hinchie P. Mabry
Lt.Col.:Giles S. Boggess, Walter P. Lane
Major:J.J.A. Barker, George W. Chilton, Absalom B. Stone

Lt. Col. Walter P. Lane's Texans took part in the battle at Shoal Creek, December 9, 1861, during the Creek uprising. The troops were pinned down by O-pothle-yahola's Creeks, Lane's Texans, in a furious assault swept over the ridge, and the battle was won. Lane's Texans were also at Patriot Hills, December 27, 1861

5th Texas Cavalry Regiment, AKA Gano's battalion, Gano's Guards of Squadron
Col.: Richard M. Gano. (One record says General) Lt. Col.: J. M. Huffman
Major: Theophilus Steele

Organized fall, 1861. One source says they were sent to Kentucky and in September, 1862, was merged with 7th Kentucky Cavalry. Another source reports Gano's Battalion fought at Wilson's Creek, MO, August 10, 1861, Shoal Creek (Caving Banks) and Patriot Hills, IT November and December 1861, during the Creek uprising. Col. Richard Gano's Battalion was also with General Stand Watie, at the battle of second Cabin Creek, and Pryor Creek, September 19, 1864

6th Texas Cavalry Regiment AKA 2nd Regimant
Col.: Lawrence S. Ross, B.Warren Stone, Jack Wharton
Lt. Col.: John S. Griffin, Peter F. Ross, Robert M. White, Stephen B. Wilson
(Griffin's Battalion, AKA 21st Regiment)

This unit was organized at Dallas, TX, September, 1861 with many of the troopers from Dallas, McKinney, Waco, Austin, and Lancaster and Bell Counties. It was a participant at the battle of Wilson's Creek, Mo, August 10, 1861. Lt. Col. Griffith's unit was in the battle at Shoal Creek (Caving Banks), and Patriot Hills, IT during November and December, 1861, during the Creek uprising. It was also at Elkhorn Tavern/Pea Ridge March 7-8, 1862

34th Texas Cavalry Regiment

Capt. H. S. Bennett's Lamar Texas Cavalry Company
Shoal Creek (Caving Banks) IT, Patriot Hills, IT, November and December, 1861 during the Creek uprising.

John W. Whitfield's Texas Battalion
Shoal Creek (Caving Banks), IT, Patriot Hills, IT, November and December, 1861 during the Creek uprising.

Well's Texas Cavalry
Listed with 5th Texas Cavalry Brigade Possible consolidation of John W. Wells' Cavalry, Chaplain Good's Cavalry, L.E. Gillett's Cavalry
Sometimes erroneously known as 34th Texas Cavalry

Scanland's Texas Cavalry Battalion
Major John Scanland


Union Army Commander, Gen. Samuel Ryan Curtis

Indian Expedition Commander, Col. William Weer

Many of these soldiers were formerly Drew's Regiment, Confederate Army. These contain only partial rosters of deserters from Drew's Regiment, and do not include the Loyal Indians.

1st Kansas Union Indian Home Guards

Second Indian Home Guards Regiment (2nd Kansas Union Indian Home Guards)
Col. John Ritchie
Capt. Fall Leaf
Lt. John Moss

Third Indian Home Guards Regiment (3rd Kansas Union Indian Home Guard)
Col. William A. Phillips

1st Kansas Colored Infantry

2nd Kansas Colored Infantry

1st Kansas Cavalry

1st Regiment Kansas Volunteer Infantry

6th Kansas Cavalry
Capt. Harris S. Greeno

12th Kansas Volunteer Infantry

14th Kansas Cavalry

3rd Wisconsin Volunteers

9th Wisconsin Volunteers
Col. Fredrick Soloman

Capt. Ben Simons Cavalry

Hopkin's Battery

Major Charles Willet's Battery

General Watie signed a Cease Fire Agreement with the United States, June 23, 1865, by the following articles. You will note, it only specifies a CEASE FIRE, not a surrender as it is commonly referred to. This is same type of condition that today exists between the United States, Korea and Vietnam. There is today a Cease Fire between the United States and the Southern Cherokee.
Cease Fire Terms

The following year, May 10, 1866, The Cherokee Nation sold their Arkansas Lands for five thousand dollars to John Brown Wright of Washington, D. C.

To learn more about the history of the Southern Cherokee Nation, then and now, Click HERE.

For more information on this era, 1861-1865, in Indian Territory, and the principle men involved, these sites have some good information.

Thomas's Legion Civil War Cherokees in North Carolina
Stand Watie: Cherokee Chief and Confederate General
Warriors in the Union
John Ross Leader of the Cherokee
Fort Washita Civil War Reports
Frances Kemp Interview An Interview with a Chickasaw Lady about growing up in Indian Territory during the Civil War.
The following books are available through Heritage Books:
Shifting Winds of War: Indian Territory 1861-1865
Indian Territory 1861-1865: The Forts, The Battles, The Soldiers
Available in paperback, a reprint of Dust in the Wind: The Civil War in Indian Territory
Also available for your Kindle Dust in the Wind: The Civil War in Indian Territory

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