“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Waynesville in Haywood County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

Thomas's Resting Place

Greenhill Cemetery

Thomas's Resting Place Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, April 27, 2014
1. Thomas's Resting Place Marker
Inscription.  Col. William Holland Thomas (February 5, 1805-May 10, 1893) is among the Confederate officers and soldiers buried here in Greenhill Cemetery. His grave is located about thirty yards in front of you on the right.

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 Thomas’s 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 Thomas’s 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
Thomas's Resting Place-Thomas's tombstone in the background image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, April 27, 2014
2. Thomas's Resting Place-Thomas's tombstone in the background
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Carolina at Waynesville on May 6-7. Thomas surrendered the Legion to Union Col. William C. Bartlett on May 9.

The officers in Thomas’s Legion from this area included Col. William Stringfield, Col. James Robert Love II, Lt. Col. William C. Walker, and Capt. John T. Levi. Stringfield is buried here in Greenhill Cemetery.

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 Thomas’s 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
Thomas's Tombstone-Front view image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, April 27, 2014
3. Thomas's Tombstone-Front view
of Our Fathers-Living Still
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesNative AmericansWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical date for this entry is March 31, 1947.
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. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Waynesville NC 28786, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 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); Waynesville Masonic Hall (approx. 0.4 miles away); Old Time Music (approx. half a mile away); N.C. Education Association (approx. 0.6 miles away); Century Vault (approx. 0.6 miles away); Haywood County Confederate Memorial (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Waynesville.
Thomas's Tombstone-Rear view image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, April 27, 2014
4. Thomas's Tombstone-Rear view
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on July 19, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 593 times since then and 88 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 19, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Oct. 6, 2022