Civil War Ambrotype Csa Confederate Soldier 69th Regiment Thomas' Legion Nc Rare For Sale
Civil War Ambrotype CSA Confederate Soldier 69th Regiment Thomas' Legion of Indians & Highlanders North Carolina RARE
Thomas' Legion fired "The Last Shot" of the American Civil War east of the Mississippi.Up for sale is a rare Civil War Ambrotype of a CSA Confederate Soldier who served in the 69th Regiment / Thomas' Legion of Indians & Highlanders.We have done plenty of research and used various image studying methods and have came to our conclusion that the man photographed was part of Thomas's Legion of Indians and Highlanders. In our opinion and of the opinons of many civil war researchers I've contacted, the man was part of the Cherokee Battalion which consisted of 400 Cherokee Indians. We have used different image effects to bring the hat into more detail. The Kepi hat clearly has the numbers "69". Thomas's Legion was known as the 69th Regiment. There's also a larger number or perhaps insignia above 69 that we can't quite make out. It could be the company perhaps. Thomas's Legion consisted of 10 companies. 8 of 10 were white. 2 of 10 were indians (Company A and B)
Thomas' Legion of Indians and Highlanders, commonly referred to as the 69th North Carolina Regiment, was officially organized by William Holland Thomas on September 27, 1862, at Knoxville, Tennessee. Its members were recruited predominately from the Western North Carolina counties of Haywood, Jackson, and Cherokee; East Tennessee also recruited many for the unit. The command initially totaled 1,125 men and contained an infantry regiment and a cavalry battalion. Its artillery battery, John T. Levi's Light Artillery Battery (a.k.a. Louisiana Tigers), formerly served in the Virginia State Line Artillery and was added to the legion on April 1, 1863. During the war, the unit mustered more than two thousand five hundred officers and men (included 400 Cherokees: the Cherokee Battalion).Commanding Colonel William Holland Thomas was the only white man to have served as a Cherokee chief and his cousins included President Zachary Taylor and President Jefferson Davis. Thomas' Legion recruited Cherokees, one of its soldiers was awarded the rare Confederate Medal of Honor, it served with General John C. Breckinridge (fourteenth Vice President of the United States and cousin to Mary Todd Lincoln), and was assigned to the same division as General George S. Patton's grandfather.
Furthermore, with the assistance of Thomas' Legion, the Union forces never subjugated Western North Carolina. It captured the Union occupied city White Sulphur Springs, North Carolina, and, moreover, was perhaps the only unit to have captured an enemy occupied city in order to negotiate its own surrender. In 2003 the "Last Surviving Union Widow" died; her husband had fought against Thomas' Legion 140 years earlier.
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On Feb-21-13 at 07:23:22 PST, seller added the following information:
Thomas' Legion was named after Cherokee chief, senator, and lawyer, William Thomas. He was 57 years old when the unit officially organized. From the beginning of the Civil War, Thomas believed and pleaded with North Carolina Governors Henry Toole Clark and Zebulon Vance, President Jefferson Davis, and various commanding generals that the mountaineers would be most effective as a locally employed guerrilla unit. These highlanders, moreover, were a unique blend of individuals possessing in-depth knowledge and understanding of their region. Because of the lack of mountain defenses, bushwhackers reigned and slaughtered non-combatants for most of the war with impunity. Eventually, Governor Vance, President Davis, Generals Martin, Bragg, Buckner, and many others stated that a force similar to the Thomas Legion would have been sufficient for defense of that region. Its command was comprised of the most diverse group of men. They were politicians, doctors, lawyers, scholars, students, Indians, farmers, miners, merchants, laborers, hunters and trappers. They were Smoky Mountain Highlanders and Cherokee Indians. Few were slave owners and from renowned families. In O.R., Series 1, 53, p. 314, Thomas stated that the Cherokees didn't own any slaves. Most lacked temporal wealth, but as combatants they were rich with skills and abilities. As rugged mountaineers many were descendants of the renowned Overmountain Men of the American Revolution; as trappers and hunters, they were scouts, sharpshooters, geographers and topographers; as politicians, lawyers, and scholars, they were strategists, organizers and leaders; as miners, they were geographers and topographers; as Cherokees, they were men of impeccable character, unwavering with loyalty, and were survivors of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and infamous Trail of Tears. Chief Yonaguska's warriors were prolific hunters and according to John R. Finger, The Eastern Band of Cherokees, 1819-1900, p. 62, in one year they provided their community with "540 deer, 78 bears, 18 wolves, and 2 panthers; the number of smaller mammals and birds killed must have totaled thousands." (Also see: Cherokee Indians: Weapons, War, and Warfare and Cherokee Indians: Weapons and Warfare.)
Asheville [North Carolina] News, April 18, 1861
The town was perfectly alive with people who had come to witness the departure of these brave volunteers. The scene was one of thrilling interest and well calculated to melt the stoutest heart to sympathy and tears...The Buncombe Riflemen are composed of first rate material and if they get into any engagement will reflect honor upon themselves and their native section...They are pure metal, no mistake, and will contest every inch of ground with the enemy.
Davis initially stated that the Cherokees should be used to defend the "coast and swamps of North Carolina" (O.R. Series 1, 51, 2, p. 304: September 19, 1861) and this was contrary to Thomas's Civil War Strategy. Fortunately, with Thomas’s persuasion, the Cherokees were not assigned to the North Carolina swamps. The coastal area was the first of the state's three regions to capitulate, which allowed longer imprisonment for the captured Confederates and greater exposure to the numerous diseases at the POW Camps. However, the greatest threat to the Cherokees would have been the immediate exposure to the disease infested swamps.
Thomas displayed a rare ability because he earned the respect and loyalty of the Cherokee and Western North Carolinian. As an adopted Cherokee, Indian agent, and Cherokee chief, he earned the confidence of the Cherokee; as a North Carolina state senator, he gained the vote and trust of the Western North Carolinian; and as a self-taught lawyer, he even convinced Washington to exempt approximately 1000 Cherokees from the Trail of Tears.
Thomas was in Washington during the Treaty of New Echota negotiations and had successfully lobbied for the right for a number of Indians to remain in North Carolina (see Cherokee Treaties). These Indians are the present-day Eastern Band, and they were also referred to as Oconaluftee, Lufty and Qualla Indians. In the late winter of 1839, while Thomas was in Washington, Yonaguska died. Thomas learned about it in April. Before his death, however, the old chief had summoned the men in his band to form a circle around his pallet in the Soco Council House. They accepted his recommendation that "Little Will" be allowed to succeed him. Yonaguska then advised them to abstain from drinking liquor and to never move west. Thomas had become Chief of the Oconaluftee and he was the only white man to hold that office. (Also see Cherokee War Rituals, Culture, Festivals, Government, and Beliefs.)
The Western North Carolinians had fought the Cherokee for decades. If the Cherokee fight in the American Civil War will they join the North? Will they remain neutral? On the other hand, the Cherokee had entered into six separate treaties with the United States between 1777 and 1835. In each case, federal authorities had sought to extend the frontiers of white settlement by extinguishing Indian title to land. The U.S. had broken several promises, including President Andrew Jackson's unconscionable betrayal of Chief Junaluska and his Cherokee. The great warrior and chief had saved General Jackson's life at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, and, when "Old Hickory" was elected the 7th President, he forced the Cherokee from their homeland. But by the 1860s, the highlanders and Cherokee were neighbors and, moreover, friends. Cherokee intermarriage with neighboring whites was also more common. Furthermore, prior to his death, Yonaguska had commanded his people to obey Chief Thomas. In 1883, Ziegler recorded that "before Yonaguska died he assembled his people and publicly willed the chieftainship to his clerk, friend and adopted son, W. H. Thomas, who he commended as worthy of respect and whom he adjured them to obey as they had obeyed him. He was going to the home provided for him by the Great Spirit; he would always keep watch over his people and would be grieved to see any of them disobey the new chief he had chosen to rule over them." Also, General Winfield Scott and the United States Army--enforcing Jackson's Indian Removal Policy--had eradicated the Cherokee during that Trail of Tears, and the Indians vividly remembered both Jackson's betrayal and the 4000 Cherokees that had perished. The Trail of Tears, which the Cherokee refer to as Nunahi-Duna-Dlo-Hilu-I or Trail Where They Cried, was also where Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, John Ross, had lost his wife Quatie. (Also see: Cherokee Declaration and the American Civil War and American Indians in the Civil War.) In the beginning of the Civil War, Scott was appointed General-in-Chief of the Union Army; he was also a veteran of the War of 1812, hero during the Mexican-American War, former presidential candidate, and during the Civil War was credited for his superb Anaconda Plan. Other notable soldiers of the Mexican-American War: Robert E. Lee, Braxton Bragg, U. S. Grant, "Stonewall" Jackson, Zachary Taylor, and Jefferson Davis.
Consequently, on September 15, 1861, two Cherokee companies (200 soldiers) loyally answered the call to arms. These 200 Indians were originally known as the Junaluska Zouaves--in honor of Chief Junaluska--and Thomas also referred to them as the North Carolina Cherokee Battalion (see: Cherokee Battalion, O.R., Series 1, 51, II, p. 304, and O.R., 1, 49, Part 2, p. 754). By the end of the war, muster records reflected that almost every "able-bodied Cherokee," about 400 soldiers, from Western North Carolina had entered into the Confederate Army. Their loyalty was to Chief Thomas and then to the Confederacy. And in O.R., 1, 53, p. 314, Thomas had stated that the Cherokees didn't own any slaves, so slavery wasn't a motive.
According to Neely, North Carolina's Eastern Band of Cherokees, p. 162, "Some Cherokees desired neutrality while as many as 30 joined the Union Army." Oral history states that many of the disloyal Cherokees were later murdered by their relatives because they had betrayed Thomas. The Indians that had joined the Union Army not only fought against their brothers, but after the War were credited for returning to the mountains with the dreaded smallpox. Captured Confederate Cherokees, however, had been held in Federal prisoner of war camps. And after the conflict, the paroled Indians immediately returned to the mountains and most likely with smallpox. (Smallpox is considered biological warfare and is currently deemed a Weapon of Mass Destruction.) Mumps and measles were responsible for most of the Cherokee killed during the war. And after the war, smallpox killed more than one hundred Cherokees. (See Thomas's letter concerning smallpox.)
President Jefferson Davis's Cousin and Friend"North Carolina cannot remain much longer stationary; she must write her destiny either under the Flag of Mr. Lincoln and aid to coerce the south or unite with the south to resist and defend their rights." William Holland Thomas to his wife, January 1, 1861. John C. Inscoe, The Heart of Confederate Appalachia: Western North Carolina in the Civil War. Confederate President Jefferson Davis married Thomas's cousin, Sarah Knox Taylor, the daughter of President Zachary Taylor. General Edmund Kirby Smith, U.S. Military Academy graduate in 1845 and commander of the Departments of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina, was strongly opposed to allowing Colonel Thomas the ability to operate the legion as an independent command. Thomas had known Davis since the 1840s and often went to Richmond for consultation. During the war, Davis proved to be an invaluable friend.
Thomas's American Civil War Strategy
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