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The Battle of Waynesville 1865


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Waynesville was the last and perhaps most unusual skirmish in the eastern theatre of the American Civil War. On May 6th 1865,

Union Colonel William C.Bartlett's 2nd North Carolina (Federal ) Mounted Infantry were raiding, pillaging, burning homes in the

area and were attacked at White Sulphur Springs ( east of Waynesville ) by a detachment of Confederates from the Thomas

Legion of Cherokee and Highlanders, who were summoned for help by locals. East of the Mississippi, Thomas' Legion fired "The

Last Shot" of the Civil War in White Sulphur Springs, North Carolina. The Legion consisted of white and Cherokee Indian Soldiers

who had served under Jubal, during the Shenandoah Valley Campaigns of 1864 but had been sent back to their native North

Carolina mountains to engage in guerrilla warfare against pro-Union bushwhackers.

The disoriented Union soldiers retreated into Waynesville, and on the evening of May 6th remaining elements of the Thomas Legion

surrounded the town. The Cherokees lit numerous bonfires on the ridges above the town and engaged in war chants in an effort to

intimidate the Federals. The Legion created the illusion of entrapping the Federals, with superior forces. On May 9th 1865, the

Confederate commanders Gen. James Green Martin and Col. William Holland Thomas ( for whom the Legion was named ) managed

to negotiate a "surrender" in exchange for their soldiers' right to keep their arms for self-defence against the roving bushwhackers.

These commanders had been made aware that Generals Robert E. Lee and Joseph E. Johnston had already capitulated, and that

continued hostilities would prove pointless.

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Here's a chap I met last weekend at the ( Lacock at War ) event, who was re-enacting a soldiers life in the Confederate army's

Thomas Legion of Cherokee and Highlanders, and gave a demonstration making lead musket balls and cartridge casing's.post-3823-0-60460500-1408869774_thumb.jpgpost-3823-0-27714900-1408869836_thumb.jpgpost-3823-0-95781600-1408869872_thumb.jpgpost-3823-0-03811800-1408869914_thumb.jpgpost-3823-0-87606100-1408869953_thumb.jpgpost-3823-0-48821400-1408869996_thumb.jpg

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Good photos.... I use to shoot blackpowder in the USA... great stuff, especially a Springfield rifle.


He's got a nice eclectic uniform... it is true the CSA would raid Union supplies so would have a rather mixed set of kit. The Tomahawk pipe across the back of the belt is cute, never seen it in period photos but would believe it.

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