United States Army Brigadier General Ely Parker
General Ely Parker reached the height of his military career when he wrote up the terms of surrender for General Robert E.
Lee. The historic signing occurred at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. Parker was born in 1828 in Genesee City, New
York, as a Seneca warrior, although much of his life was spent straddling two cultures. Parker acquired knowledge of his grandfather's
Iroquoian spiritual practices, while he was educated at the local Baptist school. Raised and educated in two cultures, he
was a trained attorney-at-law and a self-taught engineer. While a captain of combat engineers with the Rochester regiment
of the New York State Militia, he was also a "sachem," one of the honored positions in his tribe and active in Tonawanda Six
Nations affairs. He was highly educated and spoke perfect English, enlisted men and officers referred to him as "the Indian"
or "Grant's Indian" or "Big Indian." Despite being barred from practicing law and receiving an initial rejection from military
service because of his race, Parker rose to General Ulysses S. Grant's staff.
In 1863, with Grant's support, he was commissioned as a staff officer for Brig. Gen. John E. Smith. He later joined General
Grant's staff. His commission as a brigadier general was backdated to April 9, 1865. After the war, Parker remained as Grant's
secretary and used his military fame to advance his post-war career. General Grant served as his best man when Parker married
Minnie Sackett. From: historical accounts & records
LINK TO BRAVEHORSE WARRIORS VOLUME TWO