Confederate Brigadier General Stand Watie commanded all Southern troops in the Department of Indian Territory at the close of the Civil War. Although most of the troops had already been sent home, Watie formally surrendered here on June 23, 1865-the last Confederate general to lay down his arms.*
From US-70 north on Red Rd 1-1/4 mi, Less than 1/4 mi east. Doaksville, Oklahoma
Watie was one of only two Native Americans on either side of the Civil War to rise to a brigadier general's rank. The other was Ely S. Parker, an Iroquois who fought on the Union side. General Stand Watie
After Chief John Ross and the Cherokee Council decided to support the Confederacy, Watie organized a regiment of cavalry. In October 1861, he was commissioned as colonel in the First Cherokee Mounted Rifles. Although he fought Federal troops, he also led his men in fighting between factions of the Cherokee, as well as against the Creek and Seminole and others who chose to support the Union. Watie is noted for his role in the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, a Union victory, on March 6–8, 1862. Watie's troops captured Union artillery positions and covered the retreat of Confederate forces from the battlefield.
After Cherokee support for the Confederacy fractured, Watie continued to lead the remnant of his cavalry. He was promoted to brigadier general by General Samuel Bell Maxey, and was given the command of the First Indian Brigade, composed of two regiments of Mounted Rifles and three battalions of Cherokee, Seminole and Osage infantry. These troops were based south of the Canadian River, and periodically crossed the river into Union territory. They fought in a number of battles and skirmishes in the western Confederate states, including the Indian Territory, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and Texas. Watie's force reportedly fought in more battles west of the Mississippi River than any other unit.
During the war General Watie's family remained with other Confederate and former Ridge Party Cherokees in Rusk and Smith Counties of east Texas. This community known at times as the Mount Tabor Community and also by the town name of Bellview, Texas, allowed warriors to stay out on campaigns, knowing that their wives and children were in relative safety. Although hardships in east Texas did exist, this knowledge helped form the Cherokee and allied warriors into the potent Confederate fighting force that held Union troops out of southern Indian Territory and large parts of north Texas throughout the war.
On June 23, 1865, at Fort Towson in the Choctaw Nation's area of the Indian Territory, Watie signed a cease-fire agreement with Union representatives, becoming the last Confederate general in the field to stand down.
Here at Doaksville, June 23, 1865, Brigadier General Stand Watie, Cherokee Indian, was the last Confederate General to surrender.
Oklahoma Historical Society, 1965