Waynesville in Haywood County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Thomas's Resting Place
Thomas, who began trading with the Cherokee when he was sixteen, was the first and only white man to serve as a Cherokee chief and an influential figure in antebellum western North Carolina. He represented the Cherokee in the state capital and in Washington, D.C., to help establish the Qualla Boundary (the reservation for the Eastern Band of Cherokee). He organized Thomasís Legion of Cherokee Indians and Mountaineers in Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Confederacy on September 27, 1862. The people of this area were sometimes referred to as highlanders, and local residents called Thomasís unit the “Highland Rangers.” Thomas eventually recruited more than 2,000 officers and men, including two companies composed of 400 Cherokee. The unit fought in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia and largely prevented the Federal occupation of western North Carolina. Part of the Legion served in the final engagement of the war in North Carolina at Waynesville on May 6-7. Thomas surrendered the Legion to Union Col. William C. Bartlett on May 9.
The officers in Thomasís Legion from this area included Col. William Stringfield,
Capt. Alden Howell (February 18, 1841-March 19, 1947), a Haywood County native, is buried in Greenhill Cemetery. At the time of his death, there were 110 living Confederate veterans, but Howell was the last remaining Confederate officer. He enlisted in 1861 and served four years in the 16th North Carolina Infantry, Company B, rising to the rank of captain. After the war, Howell became a prominent Waynesville banker and landowner. Time magazine published his obituary on March 31, 1947; “Died, Captain Alden G. Howell, 106, who rode to war 86 years ago, saw Stonewall Jackson shot, lived to be the last surviving Confederate officer, oldest Mason in the U.S; in Los Angeles.”
(lower left) Cherokee veterans of Thomasís Legion at the 1903 Confederate Reunion in New Orleans. Courtesy The Mountaineer
(upper center) William H. Thomas Courtesy North Carolina Office of Archives and History
(upper right) Alden Howell Courtesy Mary E. Underwood, Faith of Our Fathers-Living Still
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included North Carolina Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 35° 29.045′ N, 82° 59.482′ W. Marker is in Waynesville, North Carolina, in Haywood County. Marker is on Hillview Circle east of South Main Street (Business U.S. 23), on the left when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Waynesville NC 28786, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Martin's Surrender (approx. 0.2 miles away); Museum Of N.C. Handicrafts (approx. 0.3 miles away); Battle House (approx. 0.4 miles away); Old Time Music (approx. half a mile away); N.C. Education Association (approx. 0.6 miles away); Waynesville Engagement (approx. 0.7 miles away); Turpin's Chapel - Maple Grove United Methodist Church (approx. 2.4 miles away); "Cataloochee Trail" (approx. 2.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Waynesville.
Categories. • Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Native Americans • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 267 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.