Uncle Jeff Watts biography
"Uncle Jeff" Watts. -The followingvis a sketch of probably the most widly, known and highly respects respects man that ever livedin^this part: of the newstajauaad iecauae of tbiaj' fact, together with many request froth. 1 '* friends of the deceased, we publish the following interesting biography: • W. J. Watts was born in Gibson coun- ( ty, Tenn., in the* year 1840. When 13 years of age he removed to Arkansas, with his parents, to Clarksville, where he worked on the farm until the breaking breaking out of the War of the Rebellion in 1961. when he /volunteered, Joining Co. C. First Arkansas Mounted Rifles, commanded commanded by Col. T. J. Churchill. He was in the battle /of Oak Hill, Mo., Aug. 10, 1861—in the/battle Of Pea Ridgey Ark., known in the South as Elkhorn, March 1862, after /which he Was transferred east of the Mississippi river in General Price's command, ana was in the battle of Corinth J Miss,, shortly after which he was transferred to &noxville, Tenn., and served und sr Gen. Kirby Smith in the celebrated.-ade into Kentucky in 1962, which was almost a continuous battle, the chief engagement being at Richmond, Richmond, where the Federals with superior numbers attempted to capture the command, command, and the Confederate fought for life and liberty, gaining a complete victory. victory. In Nov. 1862, he was transferred to the Army of Tennessee, and sent to relieve Vicksburg, which was besieged by the Federals under Gen. Grant. His command camped for some time at Brandon, Brandon, Miss., after which it was ordered -to Murfreesbbro ^enn,, where he engaged engaged in the celebrated battle, fought Dec. 31,1862, under Gen. Pat Cleburne. His next general • engagement was at the bloody battle of Chiekaraauga, un- dor Gen. Hood, the greatest battle fought in the West. In the spring, of 1864 he was transferred to Mobile.,Ala., thence to Florida, where for a time the army was comparatively inactive, there not being much fighting. About this time about one-tenth of the Confederate army -was dismissed on furlough, Mr*. Watts with several of his comrades being among the number. But instead of going going home they joined Gen. Price,s command command weqfc of the Mississippi river and was all through the great rade which resulted in driving the Federals out of Arkansas. In Oct. 1863, Capt. Yearwood, Yearwood, of Clarksville, Ark., organized a ' company, Mr. Watts being elected a first lieutenant. A few days later his company and others, under command of Capt. Jas. Garrett, was riding in the mountains north of Clarksville looking "for Federal scouts. Capt. Yearwood's command being in the rear of the command, command, was fired upon from ambush, instantly instantly killing Capt. Yearwood and Lieutenant Davis. Mr. Watts commanded commanded his company to charge the enemy, which they did, and put them to flight. They immediately returned to the scente'of battle, he taking Capt, Yearwood, while one of the company taking Davis and placing them in their saddles took them to Clarksville, a distance distance of 10 miles, for burial. He was cut off from the command and had hard fighting to keep from being captured by- the Federal army, which had reinforced and was driving the Confederates back. He returned to the Arkansas river,where he was cut off by the Federal army, and with his brave command, was hemmed inside the Federal lines on the north side of the Arkansas river, where he remained remained from November, 1864, to February, February, 1865, during which time they were almost constantly engaged with Federal scouts. . On the 6th of Feb., 1865, while at dinner dinner in a house near Clarksville, with three of his comrads, were surrounded surrounded by about six times their rj"~ l ' FederaL, ,.\'.?«(€ferd them to surrender But by a well-laid plan, all escaped capture and wounds except Mr. Watts, who was seriously wounded while leading leading his men, but was carried off by his comrades. This wound laid him up for three months, being inside the Federal lines, and none visiting him but a few lady friends, in secret. Being within 8 miles of the Federal post, he could not have any fire except in a hole in the ground in front of his tent which was made of old blankets. His company at night was the howling wolves, while in the day-time a few lady friends would visit and care for him till comrades tock him':^Q ,5ith%v8outh ,.aide,ot,uths(> >• Arkansas' river, in Logan county, where he with three of his comrades resolved to go to South Arkansas. They were well armed armed and mounted and determed, if necessary-, necessary-, to fight their way through. In Scott county a Federal scout, commanded commanded by Capt. Wash Dixon, determined to capiure or kill them. Secreting themselves themselves by the roadside, when Mr. Watts and his three comrades passed, Dixon ordered him to surrender. Each party being ready to fire, Mr. Watts called to Capt.Dixon and told him he was a Southern Southern man and would prefer death rather than Buirender, and asked Dixon to ride out in front and meet him, which he did. After a short conversation, Mr. Dixon saw the determination of Mr. Watts and The The m&> The ! Office Farmers ^.j ^g^x^^^^x^J^ ^^^^^^S>^^>^>^^^^<^^ farm, and was engaged in agricultural pursuits six years, being one of the most prosperous of farmers. In 1877 he'en gaged in the mercantile business at Cottonwood, Cottonwood, where he remained until the spring of 1888. when the railroad was being built through the Cherokee nation, when he removed to the site now occupied occupied by the town of Muldrow, which he was one of the leading spirits in locating; having the honor of naming the town. Here he re-engaged in the mercantile business, in which he continued until the spring of 1891, when he built the finest store and most costly residence in the place. After 1874 he was almost constantly in litigation with the Cherokee authorities over the question of mtizensln^ ; —'"^dlfKa what was W „.„ JSi#*J"" Watts Fam ily" which had attracted much atten tion, not only in the Territory but at, Washington also, where Mr. Watts defended defended his case and that of others whom he represented before the Interior Department Department and Congress of the United States. The litigation growing out of the citizenship citizenship question resulted in the formation formation of the Cherokee Citizenship Asso- pfeiation, of which Mr. Watts was the j leading spirit from 1880 Until the Association Association was disbanded in 1896. He was regarded as one of the best organizers in the Indian Territory and JMA%laiiga#UcK^i^u> J ,«,i.w«»«.-.rt? ! On September 1, 1891, he took charge of the Muldrow Register as business manager, which he conducted until January January 1,1895. The wedded partner of his youth, died in Washington, D. C, February 10,1896. She was the mother of seven children, four of whom are living—Jessie, Charles, Noah and Fannie. ! In 1896 he moved from Muldrow to Wagoner, and in 1897' he erected one of the handsomest residences in the city for a permanent home. On January 11, 1898 he was married to Miss Lelia J. Maddux, formerly of New Orleans, La. ! As an ex-Confederate he was, in 1895, appointed by Gen.R. B. Coleman quar will D. M. of fwaS in has in mare be If from becomes be not his men, that they were well armed, and termaster-^eneral; also a member of to fire on them would only lead to the his staff, with the rank of Colonel.. In loss of some of his men, gave Mr. Watts 1898, for his valuable service and his his hand as a token of his sincerity, zeal for the Lost Cause, he was appoint- pledged his word that his men'should ed Brigadier General and placed mcom- D. hot fire into them. They immediately passed, raising their hats to each other. From that time to this, Mr. Waits and Mr. Dixon have truly been the warmest of friends. Realizing that it takes true bravery to constitute true manhood, they proceeded to South Arkansas. He returned home in December, 1865, when he laid down his arms and once more became a peaceable citizen, many of his late opponents becoming his warmest friends. - In 1866 he was married to Miss Kittie Blackard, among the handsomest and most 'estimable ladies of Clarksville, Ark.,where he,resided until 1871, ana flourished with., worldly affairs,, when he removed to the Cherokee Nation and settled in Sequoyah district, on the Arkansas Arkansas river, where he opened up a Targe mand of the Cherokee Brigade Mr. Watts died at the home of his sister, sister, Mrs. Susan Mabray, at Muldrow, Okla.,on December 31,1905, and his remains remains interred by the side of his first wife in the family burying ground. Miller & O'Kelley WRITES INSURANCE -IN THE- CITIZEN AND QUEEN CO'S.