Sunday, January 3, 2010

Georgia Governor Signs Confederate History Month Proclamation


WHEREAS: April is the month in which the Confederate States of America began a four-year conflict in the Civil War. Confederate Memorial Day on April 26 is a time when Georgians honor the more than 90,000 brave men and women who served the Confederate States of America. Georgia joined the Confederacy in January 1861 when a convention ratified the ordinance of secession, and Georgia has long cherished her Confederate history and the great leaders who made sacrifices on her behalf; and

WHEREAS: Among those who served the Confederacy were Native Americans who saw action in the Confederate armed forces as well as in governmental service. Two such individuals who made a significant contribution to the state’s history were Stand Watie and Elias Cornelius Boudinot, both born in Calhoun County; and

WHEREAS: In 1861, Stand Watie was commissioned as a Colonel in the First Cherokee Mounted Rifles and by May 1864 rose to the rank of Brigadier General. He and his unit participated in 27 major engagements and numerous smaller skirmishes, more than any other unit encountered west of the Mississippi River. Watie participated in what is considered to be the most significant Confederate victory in Indian Territory, which took place at Cabin Creek during mid-September 1864. He led a raid that captured a Federal wagon train and netted approximately one million dollars worth of wagons, mules, commissary supplies, and other needed items. In February 1865, Watie was given command of the Indian Division of Indian Territory. He officially surrendered on June 23, 1865 with the distinction of being the last Confederate General to surrender and the only one to be a Cherokee Indian; and

WHEREAS: Elias Cornelius Boudinot served as secretary of the Arkansas secession convention in May 1861 and later joined the regiment raised by his uncle, Stand Watie on December 4, 1861. Boudinot rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before being elected as Cherokee delegate to the Confederate States Congress. This made him the first Native American to hold such a position, and it is where he earned his reputation as an Indian spokesman. After the war, he continued to fight for the rights of all Indians and called for Indian Territory to be made an official territory of the United States. He helped write proposed legislation naming the new territory "Oklahoma"; and

WHEREAS: It is important that Georgians reflect upon our state’s past and honor and respect the devotion of her Confederate leaders, soldiers and citizens; now

THEREFORE: I, SONNY PERDUE, Governor of the state of Georgia, do hereby proclaim April 2010 as CONFEDERATE HISTORY MONTH and April 26, 2010, as CONFEDERATE MEMORIAL DAY in Georgia and encourage our citizens to observe this occasion with appropriate ceremonies.

In witness thereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the Executive Department to be affixed this 1st day of December in the year of our Lord two thousand nine.