01/03/07
By Severo Avila, Rome News-Tribune Staff Writer

A prominent area native is the centerpiece of an exhibit at Chieftain’s Museum.

Stand Watie, a native of Calhoun, was a leader of the Cherokee Nation and a brigadier general of the Confederate States Army during the Civil War.

He is remembered in an exhibit that organizers hope will shed more light on his life and career.

“He was Major Ridge’s nephew and was supposed to have been killed the same time Ridge was, but that didn’t happen,” said the museum’s programs coordinator, Debby Brown. “Ridge, his son and another nephew were killed for signing the Treaty of New Echota. But Stand Watie was warned and he escaped.”

Brown said the exhibit, called “Stand Watie, Cherokee Planter and Confederate General,” offers a look into the life and career of an intriguing character in local history.

“You’ll be able to see glimpses of his life before and after the war, as well as his exciting career during the war,” she said.

During the Civil War, Watie commanded the American Indian cavalry made up mostly of Cherokee, Creek and Seminole. He was the only Native American on either side of the war to rise to the rank of brigadier general.

“He lived in Calhoun. His home was in Calhoun,” Brown said. “But he has deep connections in Rome and at Chieftains. This is a remarkable exhibit and a great chance for people to learn more about an incredible man.”

The exhibit is open until March 15 at Chieftains Museum/Major Ridge Home, located at 501 Riverside Parkway.

Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for seniors and $1.50 for students.

For additional information, call the museum at 706-291-9494.

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