Today, June 23, marks the 143rd anniversary of the surrender of the last significant Confederate army – that of Brigadier General Stand Watie at Fort Towson in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). He and his men were still in the field well after the passing of Robert E. Lee’s army, that of Joe Johnston, and those of the Western Theater, including Dick Taylor. His forces were primarily comprised of Creek, Seminole, and Cherokee warriors, and marked one of the most significant concentrations of Native Americans in the Confederate ranks. He first came to national prominence at the Battle of Pea Ridge, where his men seized several Union artilery pieces and helped cover the Rebel retreat. He led his cavalry in numerous battles and engagements in the last two years of the war.
From a wargamer’s perspective, there are a number of options in 15mm and 25mm, and a few in 10mm. I have several stands of 15mm Indian infantry that I use for Pea Ridge and other battles. These are older Musket Miniatures figures, mixed in with some Ral Partha / RAFM figures. While they may certainly not be historically accurate in terms of clothing, hair styles, etc., they are good enough for me to at least represent Native Americans for the Western / Trans-Mississippi fighting. I use regular CSA western cavalry figures (slouch hats, etc.) painted with a copper skin-tone to portray Watie’s horsemen, as all I could find at the time at local hobby shops were Plains Indians, and those war bonnets looked out of place under the Confederate flag.
What do you use for your Native American Civil War stands? Does anyone have Union units as well – for example, those Cherokee troops of Opothleyahalo that fought at Round Mountain and other battles? Do you use any special rules for Native American troops in your game play?