Thomas' North Carolina Legion

Historical Notes:
Thomas' Legion [also called Thomas' Legion of Indians and Highlanders or 69th Regiment] was organized at Knoxville, Tennessee, during September, 1862, by Colonel W.H. Thomas. Its members were recruited in the counties of Haywood, Jackson, and Cherokee and when formed totaled 1,125 men. The unit contained an infantry regiment and a cavalry battalion (four companies) and for the most part served as one command. It skirmished in East Tennessee and during May, 1864, moved to Virginia. Here it participated in Early's Shenandoah Valley operations, then returned to North Carolina. It was active at Soco Gap and Mill Creek and surrendered at Waynesville on May 10, 1865.

The 2nd Battalion, also known as the Indian Battalion had its nucleus in the ̊unaluska Zuaves۬ a North Carolina militia company of Cherokees organized in Quallatown in May 1861 by Col. Thomas. Company A was mustered into CS service April 9, 1862, at Quallatown. Company B was organized in Knoxville, Tn, on May 18, 1862, by a division of the over strength Co A. In July 1862, these two companies formed part of Thomas' Infantry Battalion. The battalion was increased and reorganized as Thomas' Infantry Regiment on September 27, 1862, in Knoxville. The Cherokee companies then became Cos C and D, respectively. In October, another battalion (Walker's) was added to Thomas' command, which thereafter became known as Thomas' Legion of Indians and Highlanders. In January 1863, the two Cherokee companies reverted back to their previous designations as Co A and B of the Infantry Regiment (Love's), Thomas' Legion. The Cherokee companies were detached from the regiment in September 1863, and from then on served as a separate battalion under Thomas' direct command (who at that point relinquished field command of the Legion). Company C was added in Quallatown in December 1863, and Company D organized in the summer of 1864. Not until April 9, 1865, however, was the Cherokee Battalion officially mustered as a separate unit of Thomas' Legion. At that time the battalion reportedly totaled about 300 men.

Col. Thomas relinquished field command of the Legion about 1 Sep 63 (officially in command until March 1865), except the Cherokee Battalion, which he personally commanded until war's end.
Officers:
Infantry Regiment:
Colonel:
William H. Thomas
Lieutenant Colonel
James R. Love
Major:
William N. Springfield
Cavalry Battalion:
Lieutenant Colonels:
James A. McKamy
William C. Walker
Assignments:
Duty in the department of East Tennessee

Army of Western Virginia and East Tennessee.

Department of southwest Virginia and East Tennessee

Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia

Army of the Valley District

Drpartment of North Carolina.
Battles:
Skirmished in East Tennessee
Early's Shenandoah Valley Operations
Soco Gap
Mill Creek
Waynesville
Rosters:
The roster of this unit contains the names of 4279 men.

"A" a mounted Indian company; men from Haywood and Swain Co.
"B" a mounted Indian company; men from Cherokee Co, North Carolina Jefferson Co, Tennessee.
"C" a white infantry company; men from Haywood County
"D" a mounted white company; men from Jackson Co, North Carolina, and Jefferson Co, Tennessee.
"E" a white infantry company; men from Haywood County,
"F" a white infantry company; men from Jackson County,
"G" a white infantry company; men from Jackson County.
"H" a mounted white company men from Cherokee County.
"I" a white infantry company; men from Cherokee Co.
"K" a white infantry company; men from Union County Tennessee.
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