This section is dedicated to the significance of Thomas' Legion to the exploits for the confederacy as well as the cultural significance it had to 19th century American society.
Thomas’ Legion is significant for a variety of reasons, the easiest of which to identify is the details around its defeat. Thomas’ Legion was one of the last real companies of confederate soldiers in the American civil war, they had continued to fight after hope was lost, after Jefferson Davis was captured, after the confederacy had basically dissolved around them, and after there was nobody else left fighting. Thomas' Legion formerly surrendered to the Union Army's 2nd North Carolina Regiment, a regiment they had completely surrounded and at great disadvantage. The conditions of the surrender allowed the Legion to keep their weapons and return to quietly return to their homes while the Union regiment was to leave Waynesville and never return.[x] x
In a real sense these men were outcasts of Southern Confederate society. The Cherokee members for instance did not have the right to vote, they did not have citizenship, and yet they were embodying the spirit of the South, the same rebellious attitude. They had not given up yet, even though everything around them had crumbled. It was also the manner in which they surrendered. Though they had lost the war, they had won their last battle and surrendered to an opponent they held surrounded and had at great disadvantage under favorable conditions.