The Little Known Thomas Legion of the Civil War

Thomas’ Legion, also known as Thomas’ Legion of Cherokee Indians and Highlanders, Thomas’ Legion of Indians and Highlanders, and the 69th North Carolina Regiment, was a unit of the Confederate Army. Organized in 1862 by William Holland Thomas, the Legion fought in the last skirmish of the Civil War before surrendering on May 10, 1865 near Waynesville, North Carolina.thomasLegion2

The formation of the regiment was unusual. Thomas, the only white chief of the Cherokee Indians, recruited Cherokees to fight on behalf of the Confederacy. It was a true legion, a combination of infantry, cavalry, and artillery.

Thomas LegionThe unit was mainly assigned to defend the western North Carolina area. A portion of the Legion was ambushed at Baptist Gap. True life fact from Beyond the Cherokee Trail, when Cherokee Lieutenant Astooga Stoga was killed leading a counterattack, infuriated Indian soldiers scalped several dead or wounded Union soldiers. Colonel Thomas returned the scalps to the Union with apologies.

Another real life factoid—the last Union widow died in 2003. She was the widow of a soldier who had fought against Thomas’ Legion.

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The actual 1901 reunion photo which inspired the last portion of Pierce’s story

 

For more behind-the-scenes photos of Beyond the Cherokee Trail, visit https://www.pinterest.com/lisacoxcarter/beyond-the-cherokee-trail/.

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My Real Life #Inspiration for the Characters of Beyond the Cherokee Trail

I don’t often share photos of what characters from my novels look like—what they look like in my head, that is. I prefer for readers to form their own conclusions, to utilize their own unique experiences and backgrounds in forming their mind’s eye view of my characters.

While I will leave the modern-day inhabitants of fictional Cartridge Cove like Linden, Walker, Marvela and Ross to your imagination, I will share the historical photos I found which somehow launched the full-blown characters who peopled the events of the Trail of Tears portion of Beyond the Cherokee Trail.

For more behind-the-scenes photos of Beyond the Cherokee Trail, visit https://www.pinterest.com/lisacoxcarter/beyond-the-cherokee-trail/.

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Kweti

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Sarah Jane and Pierce

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The family portrait of Sarah Jane, Pierce, Dr. Hopkins, Jonathan and David

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The grave

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The real LilyRose, a photo shared by Garnet Redman

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Leila Hummingbird