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The Last BattlegroundThe Civil War Comes to North Carolina$
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Philip Gerard

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469649566

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469649566.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

Little Will Thomas and the Cherokee Legion

Little Will Thomas and the Cherokee Legion

A Love Story

(p.92) 14 Little Will Thomas and the Cherokee Legion
The Last Battleground

Philip Gerard

University of North Carolina Press

William Holland Thomas, whose father dies before he is born, is adopted by a Cherokee chief, Yonaguska. Upon his deathbed, the chief names Thomas-a white man-as the new chief of the eastern band of Cherokee. He becomes a fierce advocate for the Cherokee, insuring that they own the land on which they live. Late in life he marries Sarah Love, the much younger daughter of his best friend. The Cherokee declare war on the United States-which marched so many of their tribe away form their ancestral lands along the Trail of Tears. Thomas raises a regiment of Cherokees and mountaineers and spends himself in the war, eventually failing in health and dangerously insane.

Keywords:   Eastern Band of Cherokee, William Holland Thomas (a.k.a. Wil-Usdi or Little Will), Sarah Jane Burney Love, Oconoluftee, Quallatown, Yonaguska or Drowning Bear, Thomas’ Legion of Indians and Highlanders, Stekoa Fields, Scalping of Union soldiers, Trail of Tears

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