Watie, Stand wät´ē [key], 1806–71, Native American leader and Confederate general, b. near Rome, Ga., as Degataga Oowatie. Of mixed white and Cherokee descent, he favored moving in the face of white encroachment on Cherokee lands, and signed the Treaty of New Echota (1835), which called for exchanging Cherokee land in Georgia and Alabama for acreage in the Indian Territory (Oklahoma). The move was opposed, however, by the majority of Cherokees, led by John Ross , and after the forced removal of the tribe in 1838 a prolonged feud between the factions erupted. Watie supported the South in the Civil War, became (1861) a Confederate colonel, and raised a Cherokee regiment. His forces operated mainly in the Indian Territory, securing it for the South and harassing Union forces. A brigadier general from mid-1864, he was the last Confederate general to surrender (June 23, 1865).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. History: Biographies