Today in History, June 23, 1865:
The last Confederate General surrenders to Union authorities. Cherokee Chief and Confederate Brigadier General Stand Watie surrendered his Cherokee Rifles Cavalry Brigade at Ft. Towson in Oklahoma Territory.
Watie had a checkered past…he was one of the Cherokees that voted for the law that moved the tribe to the Oklahoma Territory, and part of his family was assassinated as a result. He competed with Chief John Ross for the leadership of the tribe…Watie was a slave owner, Ross was a Union sympathizer. Watie and his unit were important in the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas also.