PoP's Southern Thangs: General Stand Watie


General Stand Watie

A good friend of mine who is now gone, most unfortunately, especially for the history of the Cherokee, as he wrote what I consider THE book on Stand Watie. (He was working on another book when he died and his worthless daughter and son were not interested and would not even let me have his writings, so that I could do something with them. I have no use for people that don't love their families.) His wife's grandfather rode with Watie. The book is called Red Fox, Stand Watie's Years in Indian Territory, by Wilfred Knight. He begins the book with this poem that he wrote:

No monuments or marble shafts
Keep silent record of the time
When grey clan ranks of warriors rode
The Indian Nation line.

But mists of time have not eclipsed
The ancient stories of the day,
And still the whispered words are heard,
"Stand Watie passed this way."

The noon of darkness casts its spell:
Dutch Billy's bugle sounds once more
And Watie heads his column out
To ride through legend's door.

Now once again the muskets fire
While "Eagle" Buzzard spirits soars,
And smoothbores spew their deadly hail
As Watie leads to war.

But now - the Red Fox rides no more,
No bands of men, with muffled sound
Slip through the night to strike at dawn;
The fight is thru, the moon is down.

Now who will sing old Watie's song,
And who will tell his tale,
And who will keep the rendezvous
Along the Texas Trail?

(Hollywood Cemetery, Los Angeles, CA Confederate Memorial Day 1992? I'm wearing my father's blue seersucker suit on the left standing beside my friend in the blue blazer, Wilfred Knight, a true Confederate and a gentleman. BT)

From Free North Carolina


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