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Bell Vann Watie

Obituary of James Bell, Bernice, Oklahoma.

Col. James Bell died at his home, near Bernice, Okla., on March 22, 1915. He was born in the old Cherokee Nation, in Georgia, in 1826 and was a son of David Bell, prominent among the early Cherokees, and a brother of Jack Bell, who was one of the signers of the treaty of 1835 and one of the leading men of the Ridge, or Treaty party. James Bell received his early education at the Moravian Missions among the Cherokees and later attended school at Norwalk, Ohio. He was a man of culture, a studious and discriminating reader, and well versed in the history of his people.

James Bell was a loyal Confederate soldier. He was chosen as captain of Company D at the organization of Stand Watie's 1st Cherokee Regiment, with whom he served throughout the war. Of this company, only one member is now living-Webb Vann, of Pryor, Okla. After the promotion of Colonel Watie to brigadier general, Captain Bell was elected colonel of the 1st Cherokee Regiment. He was a soldier of unflinching courage and a courteous and considerate officer. He was a brother-in-law of Gen. Stand Watie, and his only son, who died some years ago, was named for his old general. Two daughters survive him.

SOURCE: Confederate Veteran Magazine, July, 1915.

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