Proud of East Texas: Chief Bowles

By Joan Hallmark

The Battle of the Neches, the last battle between Cherokees and Texans was fought in Van Zandt County in 1839.  It was a tragic battle that most historians believe should never have happened.

At the center of the battle was the iconic figure of Chief Bowles of the Cherokee Nation, son of a Scottish trader and Cherokee mother and close friend of Sam Houston.

When the Cherokees were told to leave Texas within 10 days, they made their last stand to preserve their land.

The battlefield is now owned by the American Indian Cultural Society.  For further information or to make contributions, contact Sondra McAdams at 903-425-8581 or at

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