By far the Confederacy's most unusual soldiers were its Indian allies. At least fifteen regiments and battalions were enlisted from the Cherokee, Choctaw, Osage, Creek, Chicksaw, and Seminóles of the South. They proved to be indifferent soldiers, unused to the discipline of the military and often enlisting for private reasons of their own, which had little or nothing to do with the Confederate cause. Despite being troublesome they were very effective when they chose to fight. Best known amongst these units was the 1st Cherokee Mounted Rifles, which served the Confederate cause for almost four years to the day. Its colonel, Stand Watie, became the only Indian in the Confederacy to be promoted to rank of general. The uniforms of these Indian units were almost entirely ersatz, and were made up of whatever the trooper could pick up from the enemy, or scavenge from the indifferent Confederate commissary.
Was this article helpful?