Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 1, No. 1
SOME LETTERS OF GENERAL STAND WATIE.
EDWARD E. DALE*
One of the most picturesque and interesting figures in the history of the Civil War in Oklahoma is that of the noted Cherokee
leader, General Stand Watie. He was born in 1806 in the Old Cherokee Nation in Georgia not far from the site of the present
city of Rome. His father was a full blood Cherokee but his mother was half white. The family name was Watie and this boy received
a name signifying in the Cherokee tongue “to stand firm,” so that he afterward became known as “Stand” Watie1.
The elder brother of Stand Watie was educated in the mission school at Cornwall, Connecticut and took the name of his benefactor,
Elias Boudinot. He became the founder of the Boudinot family in the Cherokee Nation, members of which are still living in
Stand Watie himself attended a little Moravian mission school at Brainard, near the line between Tennessee and Georgia. He
received a fair education and soon became a man of prominence among his people. He was one of the signers of the treaty of
1835 by which the Eastern Cherokee agreed to sell their lands and remove to Oklahoma, and after the assassination of his brother,
Elias Boudinot, and his uncle and cousin, Major and John Ridge, which occurred in 1839, Stand Watie became a recognized leader
of the “Ridge-Boudinot party” of the Cherokee.
The bitter feud between this group and the “Ross party” was beginning to soften when the Civil War came on to tear open afresh
the old wounds made by the removal. The Confederate Government was eager to secure the aid of the Indian
tribes occupying Indian Territory and sent General Albert Pike of Arkansas to try to make treaties of alliance with them.
In the Indian country all was confusion. The Choctaw and Chickasaw were nearly all in sympathy with the South, but the Cherokee,
Creek, and Seminole were much divided. The result of this division was that late in May, 1861, John Ross, Principal Chief
of the Cherokee, issued a proclamation of neutrality,2 and when Pike and General McCulloch appeared in Tahlequah, early in June, the leaders of the Cherokee government refused
to treat with them.3 Pike accordingly proceeded at once to the country of the other tribes with whom he quickly made treaties of alliance.4
In the meantime a large element among the Cherokee, especially that group known as the “Ridge-Boudinot faction,” was eager
to join the Confederacy. Many young Hotspurs hastened to enlist in General McCulloch’s army in spite of the neutrality proclamation
of their principal chief, while others insisted than an alliance should be made at once with the South, and urged Stand Watie
to place himself at the head of the Southern party.
This he was willing enough to do. He owned many slaves and was further bound to the South by many ties. But in the meantime
a great mass meeting was held at Tahlequah at which Chief Ross stated that he believed the time had come to take preliminary
steps to form an alliance with the Confederate States.5 The meeting then voted to leave the matter entirely in the hands of the principal chief and the other regularly constituted
authorities of the Cherokee Nation.
This did not please the leaders of the Southern party. They feared Ross quite as much as they did the North. But General Pike
soon returned to Tahlequah and early in October
he signed, at Park Hill, treaties of alliance with the Cherokee and also with several smaller tribes.6
The negotiation of these treaties did not serve to lessen the prevailing confusion and anarchy in the Indian Territory. There
were many Creeks, Seminoles and Cherokees who favored the North. Civil war at once broke out between this group and the Southern
Indians, and during the next four years the Indian Country was the scene of many bloody battles and was ravaged and devastated
by the armies of both sides as well as by many predatory bands of outlaws and guerillas.
Late in 1861 the Northern Indians were defeated in battle and fled north to Kansas, where they spent the remainder of that
winter and all of the following one, of 1862-3, in refugee camps, enduring every form of privation, and dying by hundreds
of cold, starvation and disease. Then came a successful invasion of the Cherokee Country by the North and the Southern Cherokee
non-combatants were driven from their homes and forced to flee south to the Choctaw Nation and Texas, where they too endured
during the last two winters of the war all the horrors that the other faction had borne the two previous winters.7
During all this time Stand Watie was in the field, defending his country and his people against invasion from the North and
against bands of ruffians who came to plunder rather than with any definite military object. Almost at the outbreak of the
war he was commissioned as Colonel and in 1864 he received his commission as Brigadied General. He was also chosen principal
chief of the Cherokee Nation by the Southern wing of the tribe, as in 1863 the National Council and Chief Ross had decided
to abrogate the treaty of alliance with the Confederacy and again declare allegiance to the North. The
tribe thus became hopelessly divided, and from this time on to the close of the war had two rival governments, one headed
by Ross and the other by Stand Watie.
General Stand Watie is said to be the only Indian who ever rose to the rank of Brigadier General. His well known “Indian Brigade”
did splendid service for the Confederacy and it is commonly asserted that he was the last Southern officer to yield. Whether
this be true or not it is certain that he did not surrender until June 23, 1865, two and a half months after Appomattox and
almost a month after General E. Kirby Smith had surrendered the Trans-Mississippi Department to General Canby.8
During the last two years of the war the wife and children of General Stand Watie, like those of almost every other Southern
Cherokee, were virtually refugees. Mrs. Watie was a sister of Colonel J. M. Bell, one of the General’s most trusted officers.
She was a woman of great energy and resourcefulness. A part of this dark time she spent in Texas with relatives and friends,
part of it was spent in the southern part of the Indian Territory, and a part of it with the General in camp.
Among the letters given here there are, in addition to those of Stand Watie himself, several from Mrs. Watie. Others are letters
of his gifted nephew, Elias Cornelius Boudinot, who represented the Cherokee Nation in the Confederate Congress at Richmond,
and still others are from Stand Watie’s old officers and friends. Each and every letter bears testimony as to the bravery,
the kindness of heart, and the sterling character of the gallant General.
These letters are here given just as they were written. In a few instances where entire lack of punctuation has made it necessary
to give some study to the subject matter in order to determine the meaning, a comma or period has been supplied
merely as a convenience to the reader. But spelling, capitalization, and in all but a few cases, punctuation, are given here
exactly as in the original.
General Stand Watie is truly a heroic figure in Oklahoma history. A brave soldier, a tender, loving husband and father, a
loyal friend, and a generous foe, he is surely a man whose life and deeds are worthy of our study and admiration.
EDWARD EVERETT DALE.
A. W. Wilson and J. W. Washbourne to Stand Watie9
May 18th, 1861
Capt. Stand Watie,
Several of our citizens addressed lately a letter to you on behalf of a meeting of the County held in this place, on the 6th
of May last, and on behalf of the County and State, urging you, as a private and public citizen of the Cherokee Nation, to
join us in our efforts for mutual defence.
Every day strengthens the probability that the soil of the Cherokee People will be wrested from them unless they bow down
to Abolitionism and every day convinces us that it is very important that the Cherokee be up and doing to defend their soil,
their homes, their firesides, aye their very existence. To this end the State of Arkansas and the Confederate Government will
also strive, and bloodless will not be any victory over us. The integrity of the soil of the Southern
Indians must and shall be maintained. We shall do all that men can do to so maintain them.
We are happy to inform you in accordance with our promise of said letter that we would afford you all the aid we could that
a certain number of guns, good guns, have been granted to the State of Arkansas, for the use of the Cherokees in the defence
of their and our frontier. So, push on the good work and train your men and apply for these guns. Under your management they
will certainly do effective service for the Cherokee soil and so serve Arkansas as effectually. We earnestly exhort you to
take this matter immediately in hand and advise that you should hasten to the organization of your companies.
It is reported that Jim Lane, the notorious Abolitionist, robber, murderer and rascal now disgracing a seat in the old U.
S. Senate from Kansas has been recently appointed Cherokee Agent. If this be true, you will know what it portends. The subjugation
of the Cherokee to the rule of Abolition, and the overwhelming of the race before the hordes of greedy Republicans. Of course
you will all be prepared to repel so distasteful an appointment, and resist all efforts to enslave the Cherokees.
We should be pleased to hear from you, your success in organizing your people and concerning their feelings and intentions
in the present state of war. The interest of the Cherokees are identical with ours, we feel them to be so and we will do all
in our power to aid and protect them.
Your Obt. Servt.
A. M. Wilson
J. W. Washbourne.
P. S. Since writing to you I have learned that it is not Lane appointed Cherokee Agent, but that a man, by name of Griffin
a Black Republican is appointed Superintendent and Lane is to protect him with an army. It amounts to the same thing, As to
the guns, 2500, with large amount of ammunition,
have recently been sent up for this region in which I hear the Cherokees are to share. How many guns they may get I do not
know. But raise a company and send on the request, that they be furnished with the guns and ammunition. We shall strive to
have at least 200 guns sent you.
J. W. Washbourne.
A. W. Wilson.
P. S. Again,
Since the above I hear that President Davis is determined to arm the Cherokees, Creeks and Choctaws. Probably in the course
of six or eight weeks there will be many guns for the Cherokees. Two regiments of Arkansas troops will soon be concentrated
somewhere near Maysville. Communications from the South part of the State are already arriving here, and the two Regiments
will be ready, fully equipped.
We will do our part towards keeping back the Kansas rascals. The Cherokees ought to be silent in their preparations for Lane does not anticipate any opposition from them, so they can the more easily ambush and surprise
him & take booty. I have written to the Creeks. They have six companies of warriors ready at call.
J. W. W.
William P. Adair and James M. Bell to Stand Watie
Grand River, Aug. 29th 1861.
Col. Stand Watie,
Dear friend, You have doubtless heard all about Ross’s Convention, which in reality tied up our hands & shut our mouths &
put the destiny & every thing connected with the Nation, & our lives &c in the hands of the Executive.10 You no doubt have seen A. Pike’s letter as published to the Chief etc. Pike is disposed to favor us and to disregard the
course our executive has taken. The Pins already have more power in
their hands than we can bear & if in addition to this they acquire more power by being the Treaty making power, you know our
destiny will be inalterably sealed.11 It seems we should guard against this. Now is the time for us to strike, or we will be completely frustrated. Wm. Ross has
already sent a runner to see Pike to win him over and every means by Ross is now being used to draw the Agent (Crawford) on
his side. Ross’s Resolution adopted at the Convention, endorses. 1st. his neutral policy, 2nd. his correspondence with Gen.
McCulloch & Mr. Hubbard Commissioner, & 3rd. they recommend continual friendship as well with the Northern as Southern States
hereafter, 4th. they give the Executive the sole right in his wisdom to transact all matters of interest that may pend with
the U. S. or Confederate States, 5th. they dont say a word about a Treaty with the Southern Confederacy, which is the most
essential thing. Every thing is yet left open at the discreation and “wisdom” of the Executive whether to continue neutral
or prolong a Treaty indefinitely or make a Treaty at all or to renew even our covenants with the old North. Under these circumstances our Party, (the “Southern Rights Party”) want you and Dr. J. L. Thompson to go in person and have
an interview with Mr. Pike to the end that we may have justice done us, have this pin party broken up, and our rights, provided
for and place us if possible at least on an honorable equity with this old Dominant party that has for years had its foot
upon our necks. We have selected you for reasons that we will not name on account of modesty, but which will appear obvious
to you, from the well known fact that you have had an honorable reputation abroad in the South for years and are well known
by A. Pike and many other prominent Statesmen of the South. If you will go, please come right away & see Dr. Thompson as you
will see we have no time to spare. I am at this time quite unwell and have not been well for 4 weeks. I just got home yesterday
from Tahlequah and am completely
worn out, If you can’t go please to send us a note and let us know but if possible you must go.
W. P. Adair.
P. S. If you see J. S. Night please to tell him for me that if I do not get to Delaware Circuit Court next month to have his
case put off as in all probability I will not be able to be present.
W. P. Adair.
Col. Stand. Watie
There is one thing to which Wm. P. Adair has not adverted and that is Ross has ordered the raising of twelve hundred men,
John Drew Col. Tom Pegg Lieut Col. Wm. P. Ross Major. now I have been under the impression that these were commissioned by
the Confederate States. It will require a rapid and prompt movement on our part or else we are done up. All of our work will
have been in vain, our prospects destroyed, our rights disregarded, and we will be slaves to Ross’s tyranny write back immediately
what we must do, it wont do for you to hold back, declare yourself ready to serve your country in what ever capacity we may
James M. Bell.12
Stand Watie Esqr.
Blue Springs D. D. C. N.
E. C. Boudinot to Stand Watie
Jan. 23, 1863.
I delayed proceeding to Richmond until I could know some-
thing definite concerning the fate of our army here, upon which rested the only hope of our country. I wished to carry such intelligence of the State of Affairs as would enable me to do more at Richmond than I could
otherwise.13 Marmadukes success in Missouri (the taking of Springfield and Rolla) Van Dorn’s splendid raids on Holly Springs and Memphis,
the attitude of Kentucky in regard to the emancipation proclamation, and many other matters that I might mention relieves
my anxiety for the Nation and the fate of the Confederate States. An early peace I think beyond doubt, is inevitable. The
Post of Arkansas was carried by the Feds, & Churchill and his army, 3,500 men taken prisoners. But their reverses elsewhere caused them to abandon in haste both the Arkansas and White rivers, if they should come to Little Rock,
and with the present stage of water they could do so, they would be compelled to abandon it as soon as the river fell. In
prospect of early peace it is all important that we should maintain our civil and military organization. I have procured a copy of the Late Treaty and find that such sums of money as may be due
the Cherokees will be paid to any person authorized to receive it, by the “Constituted authorities of the Cherokee Nation,” A good deal of money is due us, and I suggest that the convention assemble and adopt the accompanying
resolution authorizing me to receive such moneys, if they will pass this ordinance I am satisfied I can get the money, and
with a full treasury you know what new life will be infused into our infant government.
Your buggy was taken from Fort Smith and run down to Judge Wheelers to keep it from falling into the hands of the enemy, in
the general confusion, panic and stealage going
on at Fort Smith I think it well it was taken off, though it doubtless has put you to much inconvenience. Wheeler lives 30
miles from Fort Smith nearly on the Waldron road. If John has got back you might send him home leading a horse, and he could
get it for you. I will keep you posted.
As ever Yours—
P. S. If the convention adopts the ordinance send me an official letter as Chief, enclosing the ordinance, Genl. Cooper will
send it if you have no other way.
Mrs. Sarah C. Watie to Stand Watie
June 8th 1863
My dear half
I have just got home from Rusk and found Grady here and a letter, from you dated the 27th of April it gave me a great deal
of pleasure to know that you still have time to write and cast a thought on home and home folks Mr. Kelly and W. Fields will
start as soon as I finish my letter. I have not had a chance to write you a long letter since you left. Grady tells me that
Charles and Saladin have killed a prisiner write and tell me who it was and how it was, tell my boys to always show mercy
as they expect to find God merciful to them.14 I do hate to hear such things it almost runs me crazy to hear such things I find myself almost dead sometimes thinking about
it. I am afraid that Saladin never will value human life as he ought. If you should ever catch William Ross dont have him
know how bad his mother would feel but keep him till the war is over. I know they all deserve death but I do feel for his
old mother and then I want them to know that you do not want to kill them just to get them out of your way. I want them to
know you are not afraid of there influence. Always do as near right as you can. I feel sorry that you have such a bad chance
and so much to do be careful of yourself. We have not a bit of water here we almost starve for water. Old man Martin is sick
I have not seen him since you left. he started the next day after you left and went to some house some fourteen miles of.
I expect he will die. He has the consumption. Sister Nancy I do not think will live through the summer she wants me to go
and stay with her while she lives. She cant walk across the house tell Major Bradley to hunt me up and I will take care of
him if I go to Rusk15 for the summer. I will get me a house in Bellview so the children can go to school it (is) impossible for (me) to stay here
I will get some one to stay and take care of our corn it will do to fatten our horses you must write every chance and direct
it to Lanagin and let him mail it to Rusk Bellview, it looks like I cant live and not hear from you. You must write and tell
me when it will be safe to come. I sent the bay horse the black was to poor to go. I will bring him. you can either send that
back or keep him till I come. I can sell him for six hundred here I have not time to say good by, yours
S. C. Watie.
Stand Watie to Mrs. Stand Watie
Camp near North Fork
Nov. 12th, 1863
My dear Sally
I have not heard from you since your letter brought in by Anderson. When Medlock went away I was out on a scout.
I went to Tahlequah and Park Hill. Took Dannie Hicks and John Ross. Would not allow them killed because you said Wm. Ross
must not be killed on old Mrs. Jack Ross’s account.16 Killed a few Pins in Tahlequah. They had been holding council. I had the old council house set on fire and burnt down, also
John Ross’s house. Poor Andy Nave was killed. He refused to surrender and was shot by Dick Fields. I felt sorry as he used
to be quite friendly towards me before the war, but it could not be helped. I would great deal rather have taken him prisoner
Since my return I have been sick but now good deal better. Another scout has since been made to Tahlequah under Battles. He
returned today. They found some negro soldiers at Park Hill, killed two and two white men. They brought in some of Ross’s
There is a grand council of the different (tribes) to be held at Armstrong Academy on the 16th.17 Would like to attend but cant leave the command. Since Steele’s and Cooper’s retreat from Fort Smith I have been placed in
command of the Indian troops (all) but Choctaws.18.
When I first sat down to write I thought I would send you a long letter but I am annoyed almost to death by people calling
on me on business of various kinds, this and that,
I will send you pork enough to do you in a few days. I have concluded to have the hogs killed here and the meat hauled to
you. You need not try to buy any. I can get it here.
A few days ago I received a letter from Sally Paschal. She said she had written to us and received no answer. Thinks per-
haps we were displeased with her about something. I am sorry we did not write, it seemed to me you did. I will write to her
soon. Let me hear from you often and let me know how you are all doing. Whenever the troops go into winter quarters I will
go home to you. I have not been as well this fall as I used to. I cant get rid of this bad cough. Saladin is well. He is going
to start in the morning with a party under Mose Fry on a scout to Fort Smith. Fry is not dead but is now a Major. He commands
a battalion. I will write soon again.
Love to the little ones and everybody else.19
Elias Cornelius Boudinot to Stand Watie
House of Representatives
Richmond, Va. Jany. 24, 1864
I regret exceedingly that I have not been able to forward money sooner. Mr. Scott did not make the arrangement that I expected,
and he promised, when we left Shreveport, so I was compelled to introduce a bill to that especial end.20 It passed with but one dissenting vote, and, has but just received the approval of the President. No one unacquainted with
legislative delays will appreciate the embarrassment under which I have labored. I have procured the money at last without
assistance, and hope our Commissioners will make it go as far as possible, for it must be borne in mind that -this money will
have to be returned after the war, or else the C. S. will retain
the amount out of moneys that may then be collectable, and that this $100,000, Confederate is the representation of $100,000
gold. Our claims for indemnity under the treaty are not effected by this loan.
Congress is making slow preparation to meet the enemy in the Spring from the tone of Northern papers the Yankees believe they
have us subjugated already, and are quarreling among themselves about what shall be done with us. Lee & Johnson, will undeceive
them in the Spring. 150000 men completely investing Charleston might starve it out, and I think that is the only way it can
I insisted on Genl. Steele’s removal as soon as I arrived here last November, a few weeks since Rev. Robinson from the Chickasaw
Nation came on with Sundry petitions, praying that Cooper be promoted and placed in command of the Indian Territory21 he said he represented the wishes and sentiment of all the Indians. Cherokees as well as Choctaws, and that it was the opinion
of your best friends that you were incompetent to command a brigade, and hardly able to command a regiment.22 these friends of yours I ascertained to be Judge Keys, Judge Taylor, Mackay, Drew, Parks, Bob and other warm friends; Robinson I found to be a simple fellow he goes home under the impression that he accomplished much, when in reality
he did nothing. I told the President that while I did not think Cooper the best General we could select for the command of
our Dept. we infinitely preferred him to Steele. And I was assured Steele should be removed long before Robinson arrived.
My plan which I have submitted to the President is to place Price in command of the Dept. of Mo. and the Indian Country, give him all the Mo. Infantry skeleton regts., let Cooper com-
mand the brigade of white troops and organize the Indians into three small brigades to be commanded by citizens of the several
Nations. The President told me he was much pleased with my scheme, and has written to Kirby Smith about it; if Price will
accept, I think there is little doubt but he will be assigned to that command, in spite of Robinson’s threats that, if Cooper
is not made the commander in chief all the Indians will desert the cause. Judge Dick Fields is here he has not told me his
business perhaps, he has a delicacy in telling me he is the bearer of dispatches from a secret caucus which affected to represent
the Cherokee people, recommending Cooper for Major Genl. and declaring that I had lost the confidence of the Cherokee people,
which they would testify to by electing another delegate, bah! I can laugh at all such plots. I will be with you in May or
June by that time I shall leave done all for our country, that I am able to do here. I shall succeed in collecting from the
State of Va. $13500, which I will carry with me to our commissioners. Everything is extravagantly high here. My board costs me $300 per
month, while I get $230, pay, so you see I am not making a pile being congressman, board at the principal hotels $20, per
day. The Sec. of War has decided that Crawford and Vore must elect which position they will hold, Q. M. or Agent, and that they cannot hold both.23
The Yankees will summon all their energies in the Spring to take Richmond and Atlanta, McClellan is likely to be their conservative
candidate for President, and either Lincoln or Grant the radical, the electoral votes of La. Arks. Kentucky, Tenn, & Maryland
will be thrown for Lincoln or Grant. McClellan stands no chance in these States, although he alone is in favor of giving the
South her Constitutional rights. One tenth of the population of these States is allowed to represent the whole.
I wish you would forward as soon as possible a statement of the condition of your forces, whether you have a battalion organized
toward your third regiment &c.
Give your letter to Scott and he will forward it.
My regards to all the boys.
As ever, Affly.
P. S. I have introduced two bills to provide for the payment of all Q. M. Commissary and ordnance accts. in the Ind. country
whether regular or otherwise, also a bill to pay the dead soldiers accts. in a more summary manner than now provided for.
I will send a copy of the bill introduced by me and adopted, providing for elections to fill vacancies &c.
Stand Watie to Mrs. Stand Watie
Camp Watie on Middle Boggy
April 24th 1864.
My Dear Sallie,
Captain Alberty is going to Rusk and he will take this letter. News from all quarters is very cheering but you have heard
all so I will only relate what is going on here. The wild Indians from Kansas are getting to be very troublesome on the western
border. Col. Adair crossed Arkansas river below Gibson but I have not heard from him since; a few men left off from him and
returned they fell in with some pins one of their number young Bent is supposed to be killed. Adair has stirred up the Pins
no doubt before now. None but Creeks are at Gibson part of the pin Regts have gone to Scullyville.
Two men and two women came out from Fort Smith a few days since they reported the Feds there about 800 a few days after two
young boys came out they report the same story. All agree that the Feds are short of provisions, since the failure of the
enemy to occupy Texas. Troops at Fort Smith and Gibson, I think will act on the defencive. We are now ready to move, only
waiting for orders. Quantrell crossed the Arkansas river near the Creek Agency and killed eight men (Creeks) one of them shot
a little boy and killed him. Some of the Creeks who were along returned to-
day and brought this news.24 I have always been opposed to killing women and children although our enemies have done it, yet I shall always protest against
any acts of that kind. Two days ago a part of Quantrells men fired on the guard at Boggy. Killed one man and wounded another.
A few days ago a party of Missourians took off Arch Shelton’s black boy (Peter) he was recaptured by some men below in the
affray Wiley Forester was killed. No propperty is safe anywhere, stealing and open robbery is of every days occurrence.
I am very tired of this camp we have very bad water.
After Parks death all sorts of lies were told that I had planned everything.25 I am sorry that I should be charged in public of an act of that kind but it seems that is my doom let me act as I will my
conduct is always considered wrong no charity was ever shown me yet I have lived through it and I trust and hope that justice
land right will be meeted out to me some day. Although these things have been heaped upon me and (it) would be supposed that
I become hardened and would be reckless but it still hurts my feelings. I am not a murderer.
Sometimes I examine myself throughly and I will always come to the conclusion that I am not such a bad man at last as I am
looked upon. God will give me justice if I am to be punished for the opinions of other people, who do not know my heart I
cant help it. If I commit an error I do it without bad intention. My great crime in the world is blunder I will get into scrapes
without intention or any bad motive. I call upon my God to judge me, he knows that I love my friends and above all others
my wife and children, the, oppinion of the world to contrary notwithstanding. Love to the little ones, and my friends.
Let me hear from you, if possible I will write again before I get off too far.
Your affectionate husband.
Mrs. Watie to Stand Watie
May 27, 1864.
My dear husband,
I have just came from Susanah McNairs she will not last longer than tomorrow I felt sorry to see her for she was my earliest
friends she was the friend of my childhood it was long before either of us could speak; she says you have come at last I told
her yes that was all I could say. I have not been well since I saw you part of the time I was very bad but now I feel a great
deal better I will stay here in this part of the country till July then I expect to hear from you and if you think there will
be peace I will go back as far as I was. it is ten times as hard to get a long here as there. I am not well enough to do anything
in the way of making a living I will do well to save myself alive for my children Nancy is still very feable just can walk
about the house all the rest are well I am sorry that Oakes could not buy a load but perhaps he can get enough to make a load
at Sulphur Springs you must gouvern him you can talk better than I can but I will watch for a chance to buy but no one will
sell anything for the money every one wants the new issue.26 I do not know what they will do with the money if it wont buy what we want. just at this time you cant get anything with
it borde nor any thing else I will write the neighbourhood news by Lucian I am not well enough at this time to write much.
May I use those books for the children to write on it will do them more good than any thing else.27
From your affectionate wife
S. C. Watie.
Stand Watie to Mrs. Watie
Camp Jumper 10 miles north of Perryville.
June 1st, 1864.
My dear Sallie:
In my last I promised to write again soon as I should return from Schullyville. I have been back four or five days found the
Pins had left a day or two before and I was not very sorry for it. They had been strongly posted, had a fight come off we
would have certainly lost good many men, but it seemed they had taken an alarm and left in a hurry as they had left some commissaries
and tools they had been working with on the fortification. A place was picketed near the commissary house behind that large
stone house near where you lived, all the houses around that place had port holes cut to shoot out of, the picketing was out
of green timber sunk in the ground two feet and large logs rolled against them all around on the outside, two platforms for
artillery. The boys burnt every house that had a port hole in it and destroyed the fort much as they could. The Pins are now
near the river opposite to Fort Smith, Creeks and few other troops about 1200 at Gibson. Lieut. Col. James Bell took a scout
with a hundred men to near Fort Smith, killed one notorious Captain by the name of Gibbons who was a terror to the southern
people and brought in three Feds prisoners. Arkansas river is very high, a portion of the cavalry force of my command is on
the other side of the Canadian. Cooper with the Choctaws, Gans Brigade, is at Johnsons Station. Maxey is at Doaksville. There
are some four thousand men at Fort Smith. The main army of the Federals at Little Rock. It cannot be long before a general
move is made in the direction of Arkansas river. The union citizens of Washington and Benton Coun-
ties are moving out north. A letter frown Mr. Wheeler to John brings the sad news of the death of Mary Ann, her28 little girl had died a few days before. John took it very hard. Saladin has been sick but is now well ready as he says for
a fight. I received a letter from Ann Shelton. I felt better after receiving it, I was very uneasy after seeing Richard, he
told me that you was very sick, but Ann tells me you had got better. Tell her that I admire her medical skill, she says she
burnt you, how did she do it? did she stick a coal of fire to your side? She must have a Diploma. If anything, such as calico or other finery can be had she shall be remembered. Joe Martin and Hooley have gone after cotton
and wool cards.29 I will write whenever opportunity presents itself. Jim has written to Ann, I will write to her at some other time. Write
whenever you can. I feel anxious to hear from the children. In my next I may have something of interest to tell you from our
country. I rather look for this war to end with this year 1864. The period will then have been time times & half a time some
where about the beginning of September.30
Your affectionate husband,
Mrs. Watie to Stand Watie
Rusk Co., Texas31
June 12, 1864.
My dear husband.
I have not been well enough to write much since I came here sometimes I feel well for a day or two then worse. I dont hear
from you at all and that troubles me and all things put together keeps me in such low spirits that I can’t mend. I have been
very bad of ever since I left Jarratts there is some one coming in every few days but none of them can tell me any thing where
you are tell me whether I had better get a place or not and where. I thought if you thought best I would get a place by the
time you could come, if you could come this fall I would go back to Lamar county. I have no idea that you can leave long enough
to come here. I do wish you would leave the service and let them see whether they can do so well without you as some seam
to think. As for me I want some to learn how well they will do for I dont feel as if they treat you right so let them go where
they want to go as for the Nation I believe it is bound to go to the dogs and the more one does to save it the more blame
they will have to bear. I dont never expect to sit down in peace among them and if I could I would not for my weight in gold
for I am tired of it and if nothing better than the last few years remains for me why I have no desire to live, if it was
not for Jack and Ninny, I would rather die than always live in dread as we did it is no pleasure. I would like to live a short
time in peace just to see how it would be. I would like to feel free once in life againe and feel no dread of war or any other
trouble. You wrote to me you would meet me at Sheltons but I have no idea you will be there so soon but write to me and tell
me when you can be there or in that neighborhood and I will go. I do hope the war will end this year. I will try and get some
where close to a school so that the children can go from home. They are to small to bord out long at the time. I will try
and have them clothes enough for winter but that is all I can
do for I cant spin a bit myself nor do I expect I can if I remain weak as I am. Tell Saladin he must shift for his clothes
for I cant buy any thing at all. Oakes went back without any load from here. I told him to take what he had and buy a load
at Sulphur Springs and hurry back to camp, I don’t know whether he can buy anything that will pay or not. I will watch and
if I can I will buy that tobacco. I cant buy one thing with old money. You must send me some that will pass I told Oakes to
trade on that he had and sell what he bought for new I have not sold my horses yet. I cant see how I can do without them unless
I was at home and stay there. I had mind to go back to Paris, it is (so) far from you, I can’t hear anything but you can tell
better than I whether it would be best or not. Write me a long letter and tell me everything that is going on. Sister Nancy
is no better than she was last summer. She is very weak but does not cough much like most people with her disease though she
does not seam to have the real consumtion but it is almost the same. I do not think that she will live long though she may
last a year or two. And she may not last a month. Some days she does very well and others not so well. I have not heard any
news that would interest you only that Joe Buffington wrote her aunt Nancy an insulting letter it made the old lady hot. She
said they were determined to make her mean just as she was going to die and if it sent her to the devil she did not want her
to come here she says they have tormented her what time she lived here. I will write again soon. Be sure and write. Jack sends
love and a blossom to she says kiss the letter. Shake hands with the letter for Jack.
Mrs. Watie to Stand Watie
Lamar, Oct. 9 1864.
I am here in this neighborhood of good old people but we are doing nothing yet. Oakes has been sick for two months. I intended
to sow wheat as soon as I can I do
think it is not worth my time to try to do much these times it weares me out just to look around and see how we are to do.
I thought I would send you some clothes but I hear that you have done better than to wait on me for them.32 Well I dont feel a bit like writing this because I can not write what I want to say. I have been looking for you to send
me some brown domestic and some callico I have not a sheet till I get it, it is all I can do to keep clothes for our children.
I wanted to send them to school but the board is 200 a month apiece or 12 in provision, what must I do. I must have your advice
on it.33 I saw Cornelius Boudinot the other day he will be here in a few days he will start to Richmond from here. He says Lincoln
has commissioners at Richmond now and he wants to get back as soon as he can so as to secure our interest there. I want you
to be certain and send me some domestic enough to do me two years. I want you to come as soon as you can, I am sick and tired
of the world, I cant write it is to cold to sit out doors and the children talk so much that it pesters me to death if you
want Oakes write. I thought I would sow wheat first if I can make any rise of tobaco I will send him but I cant do anything
for the want of money I have not a dime of money but old Buck Jones is alive at home just as good as can be. He is all right
so far. He wont let me want for anything. I guess I can do just about as well as any body else it is a saying that Mrs. W.
can get along where others will sink, you know that to be so dont you. I will have to look to you for advise about the childrens
schooling. I don’t know how about the board it is high everywhere Cornelius wants Wataca
and Nancy to go this winter and the next time he comes he wants to take them with him, you are the right judge write once
a week by mail and I will do the same after this, if you can come home this fall do so.
Yours as ever
S. C. Watie.
Elias Cornelius Boudinot to Stand Watie
Shreveport, La. May 11, 1865.
I arrived here two days ago, and will probably leave to day for Washington Arks. where I shall leave my extra bagage, and
as soon thereafter as possible will proceed to Doaksville where I understand you are now.
I have had a long and tedious journey from Richmond, having left there on the 18th of March and lost no time unnecessarily
on the way.
I got a bill through Congress requiring Genl Smith to turn over to the Cherokee—300, worth of cotton, specie value.34 Another was also passed making the same provisions for the other nations to the extent of their annuities. I have seen Genl
Smith, who promises to conform speedily to these provisions of the bill, he has gone to Marshall to see the Treasury Agent
and will write to me, where, and how soon the cotton can be delivered.
It is important that we secure this cotton and export it if possible before the general crash on this side of the river, which,
between you and I will take place this summer. I have nothing to do and am willing to devote my time and energies to this
business if you will call your Executive Council together and give me the requisite authority.
It is a hurculean task, and the probability is, nay the certainty is, we will have to find our transportation. I think I can
do this and turn over for the benefit of our people the full amount of this years annuities in coin. I suggested to
Genl Smith an arrangement by which the cotton could be taken out of Red River and thus save time and expense, but he anticipates
a movement of the enemy up the river soon, which would render such a scheme impracticable. If you see fit to intrust the matter
with me I must not be trammeled by any superior authority, but must be allowed to carry out my own plans without dictation.
The surrender of Lee and Johnson virtually puts an end to the war on the other side of the river. The people from Virginia
to the Miss. river are willing to try the experiment of absolute submission and return to the old Union. Gen Smith in my opinion
will hold on if possible a month or two yet, until the hopelessness of further resistance is apparent to the world, before
he will yield the contest.35
From all that I learn his army will fall to pieces. The war will close in some shape by the 1st day of August, unless the
old story of foreign intervention should be verified. Our policy should be to remain still and watch the current of events.
Cooper is Superintendent.
Aff’ly Yr. Nephew,
Congress voted you thanks for the capture of the train last fall.36 I had a bill passed also redeeming all the old issue, but that is of but little moment now.
Mrs. Watie to Stand Watie
Lamar Co. Tx.
May 21, 1865.
We all feel disappointed at not hearing from you as one week has passed and no word yet we hear all kinds of rumors
and none satisfactory to us. we heard you was captured and have not heard any thing to the contrary we hear that Gen K. Smith
has surrendered and then we hear he has not so we dont know what to believe. do let us know all that you know for certain
if it is for the worst let us know it so we can be prepared for it. if I have to fall among the feds I do not want to be among
old Blunts set for the Pins will be mean enough and what is your prospect.37 I hear that they have set a price on several of there heads and you are encluded; that is the rumor I do not want people
to believe it for some of them would be after it. I hear that Cooper will not give you any supplies. if he does not I believe
that they all are speculating of it and I hope that the last of them will sink. I do not want you to do any thing of that
kind I would live on bread and water rather than have it said you had speculated of your people I believe you have always
done what you thought best for your people and I want it to die out that bad belief. if I thought you was working for nothing
but to fill your pocket it would trouble me a great deal but I know it is not else it would have been filled before this time.
I know that you are capable of making a living any where if we are let alone after the war is over.
Write soon and send it. I do not know what to believe. If you can get any specie get it for we cant get any thing for confederate
money here and if we have to get away from here which I fear we will I dont know what we will do. my notion is that we cannot
stay here for the robers. My black horse is not found yet I am all the time afraid the mules will be gone.
Write all, we are all sold out I believe.38
S. C. W.
Report says Jeff Davis is at Shreveport.
Stand Watie to Mrs. Watie
Jones’s June 23rd 1865
We leave this morning; intend to go as far as Jarretts. have agreed upon the cessation of hostilities with the Comrs. they
will leave tomorrow—Genl Smith had surrendered the whole department on the 26th day of May— The Grand Council will convene
1st day of Septr. when a comr. from Washington is expected to arrive. I will return home soon as our council is over at Nail’s
Mill. Jumper and Checota are expected in today39 try to have Cornelius at your house next week. I must see him.
Thomas F. Anderson to Stand Watie
Near Waco, McLennan County,
Febr. 19th 1866.
Genl. Stand Watie,
Dear Sir, I saw a Mr Conway from Greyson County a few days ago on his way to Austin, from which place he will return here
in two or three days. He informed me that you were living in the Choctaw Nation a few miles west of Armstrong Academy and
promised me to have a letter forwarded to you, Personally I have no other motive for writing, than such as would induce one
to write to a friend, if you will permit me to include myself in the number of those who truly esteem you.40
But I have been requested by Adam Bibles and Downing, whom you both know as citizens to endeavor to get them authentic information
in regard to the prospects of the Southern Cherokees. Both wish to return to the Nation this Spring, but, on account of the
thousand and one rumors in circulation, do not know what to depend upon and would like to see their way clear. And I confess
as much anxiety on the subject for my own part, as they or anybody else can possibly feel. I find it hard to shake off old
associations and cannot help feeling identified with the people among whom I had the honor to serve during our late war. And
when, homeless as I am, I think of a future home, I am abound to say that the United States proper, possess no attraction
and hold out no inducement to me to live there in future and to live contented.
I have had a very tedious time of it here with my shattered leg, but am now doing as well as I could expect and can now begin
to use it some. I would like very much to see you again before I go home this spring and will probably come up with Mr. Bibles.
He is anxious to learn at what time you will all start up to your old home, so as to be there in time to go up with you. If
however matters are not so arranged as to induce the Southern Cherokees to return, he desires to know, so as to enable him
to shape his course accordingly.
Since I came here, I have written several letters to you, and fear that I have annoyed you. But I beg you to believe that
such has not been my intention. Outside of my own family, such as I look upon as my best friends are among your people and
among them, I can say in all sincerity, that you hold the first place, I know that you will understand me and receive this
as full apology if you have thought me guilty of any boring.
I would like to hear from Saladin and other friends. If you know P. G. Lynch’s address, please give it to me.
I have no news whatever. I hear frequently from my family, since the mails have again begun to go with something like regularity.
They are well, but getting along about
as bad as the majority of impoverished families east of Mississippi.
There are now a company of U. S. regular Soldiers stationed at Waco and the probability is that they will remain there for
an indefinite time or until Messrs. Sumner, Stevens & Co. choose to admit Texas as a State into the Union. The Convention
here is in session but I have not heard from Austin lately.
Please answer this as soon as possible and address to me at “Waco, McLennan,Co. care of Danl Aerl.”
With my sincere respect to your family and begging you to remember me to other old friends, believe me, Genl,
Your friend & Obt. Servt.
Thos. F. Anderson.
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