18 May 1864: “Our Indian allies, under Stand Watie and others, who have never wavered in the darkest hours of our struggle, who have sacrificed their all to the great cause of Southern liberty, will ever be gratefully remembered…”

Item description: The Hillsborough Recorder of 18 May 1864 included this news item from the Richmond Enquirer of 5 May 1864. The excerpts are from letters describing a battle between General Stand Watie and the 1st Indian Brigade of the Confederate States Army and Union forces led by General John Milton Thayer in the western theater of the war.

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Item Transcription:
Our Indian Allies whip the Yankees
The Richmond Enquirer of the 5th has been furnished with the following extracts from letters received in that city:
“1st Indian Brigade, Camp Longstreet,
Choctaw Nation, March 30th, 1864.
* * * “It is reported that a heavy force of the enemy from Fort Smith is on the march to clear out the Indian Nations; it probably numbers ten regiments, or four or five thousand men. So you see we are likely to have some fun soon. Stand Watie now commands the 1st Indian Brigade, is in fine spirits, full of confidence, and anxious to meet the enemy. Look out for stirring news from us.”
In another letter of later date this writer says:
“We have met the enemy and they are ours, that is, what’s left of them. Old Stand, with a portion of his brigade, attacked a force of the enemy, 1500 strong, thirty miles from Boggy Depot. He fought them until dark, and retreated several miles, leaving the Yankees in full possession of the battle field, and under the pleasant delusion that Stand Watie was whipped–but Watie out Yankeed them this time. In the still hours of the night, Stand Watie and his cutthroats, as the Yankees uncharitably call us, fell upon the slumbering Yankees and scattered them in the four winds. We captured six hundred horses and equipments, hundreds of arms, and literally smashed them ‘into a cocked hat’.”
There is little doubt but this force, so roughly handled by Stand Watie, was a part of Thayer’s column. From the swamps of Florida to the praries of the Indian country, our successes run unbroken.
Our Indian allies, under Stand Watie and others, who have never wavered in the darkest hours of our struggle, who have sacrificed their all to the great cause of Southern liberty, will ever be gratefully remembered by the people of the Confederate States.
[Thayer's force was eight regiments, and marched from Fort Smith for Shreveport at the same time Steele left Little Rock--all expecting to be in with Banks "at the death."]

Item citation: The Hillsborough Recorder. 18 May 1864. Hillsborough, N.C.: Dennis Heartt. C071 H65. North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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