"Trail of Tears" (Nov 17, 1838 - Mar 26, 1839, 4mths, & 9 days)
Along the Trail of Tears|
Over a period of two years the Cherokee moved from their "Enchanted Land" in Georgia to a new home in Oklahoma. During that time more than 20 distinct groups of Cherokee Indians headed west along three separate routes. Today the general term The Trail of Tears is applied to all three routes, however, to the Cherokee only the northern land route was called "The Trail Where They Cried."
May 24, 1836
May 23, 1838
|People who left the Cherokee Nation in Georgia and emigrated to the Oklahoma Territory before the "Trail of Tears" Most of the signers of the Treaty of New Echota and many of the richer mixed-blood Cherokee.||800||N/A||800||Apr 05, 1838||Under the command of Lt. DEAS, US. Army.||250||-2||248||Jun 06, 1838||Under the command of Lt. DEAS, US. Army.||800||-311||489||Jun 13, 1838||Under the command of Lt. WHITLEY, US. Army.||800|| +225
|602||Jun 17, 1838||Under the command of Capt. DRANE, US. Army.||1,070||-576||494||Oct 11, 1838||Under the command of Lt. DEAS, US. Army and John RIDGE||650||-0||650||Oct 01, 1838|| NAI Leader - John BENGE, first of the Cherokee controlled parties.|
US. Army commander Winfield Scott rode to Nashville with this party.
|1,103||Oct 04, 1838||NAI Leader - Elijah HICKS.||748|| +110
|744||Oct 04, 1838||NAI Leaders - Hair CONRAD; Daniel COLTON.||858||-204||654||Oct 04, 1838||NAI Leaders - Jesse BUSHYHEAD & Capt. Old FIELD.||950|| +82
|898||Oct 04, 1838||NAI Leader - Rev. S. FOREMAN||983|| +57
|921||Oct 04, 1838||NAI Leader - Choowalooka||1,150||-180||970||Oct 04, 1838||NAI Leader - Mose DANIEL||1,035|| +48
|924||Oct 04, 1838||NAI Leader - James BROWN||859|| +34
|717||Nov 04, 1838||NAI Leader - George HICKS||1,118||-79||1,039||Nov 04, 1838||NAI Leader - John DREW||231||-12||219||Nov 04, 1838||NAI Leader - Richard TAYLOR||1,029|| +55
|944||Nov 04, 1838||NAI Leader - Peter HILDERBRAND||1,776||-464||1,312||Dec 04, 1838||NAI Leader - John ROSS, final party of the Trail of Tears||228||228||
The 2,125 negative number of losses includes death & excaped Cherokee Indians..prsjr
The Trail of Tears and the Forced Relocation of the Cherokee Nation
Today's Map of "Cherokee Trail of Tears" |
In the hard winters of Nov 17, 1838 to Mar 26, 1839, it took some 129 days to complete only 602.5 miles, thats averaging only some 4.7 miles per day?
<---Click on Thumbnail for Larger Photo!
|1.||Charleston, Bradley Co., Tennessee||<--- 35.287806,-84.758234||181 miles to: #2||2.||Nashville, Davidson Co., Tennessee||<--- 36.172248,-86.783752||71.5 miles to: #3||3.||Hopkinsville, Christian Co., Kentucky||<--- 36.869184,-87.488937||142 miles to: #4||4.||Cape Girardeau, Cape Girardeau Co., Missouri||<--- 37.310652,-89.517288||272 miles to: #5||5.||Springfield, Green Co., Missouri||<--- 37.219393,-93.299332||186 miles to: #6||6.||Tahlequah, Cherokee Co., Oklahoma||<--- 35.917694,-94.96994||602.5 Miles Total|
The "Trail of Tears" which started at
for the forced exodus of the last Eastern CHEROKEE Indians in
fall of [Nov 17, 1838]. This was the Overland passage across North
across Tennessee, West across Kentucky, West at the tip of
Illinois, Southwest in Missouri to Arkansas, West across Arkansas
to Fort Gibson in Oklahoma. Many of the people, especially
infants and the elderly, died and were buried along one or
another of the trails. About 4,000 of the men, women and children
of the 15,000 CHEROKEE who made the journey died of disease and
exposure. One of the 14 wagon trains went across central Arkansas
from Chickasaw Bluff [Memphis, TN.], which was one of the most
direct routes, arriving March 26, 1839.
After the Treaty of 1835 something less than a thousand pro-Treaty people had recently left, thier homeland East of the Mississippi River, going in three groups. Four to five thousand [4 to 5,000] Cherokees had traveled west earlier on their own. Some had gone by riverboat, others by land, and there had been suffering, fatigue and illness and even death. Over the years, the roads to the West had been made and worn by many feet, white, red and black, booted, moccasined, and bare; the roads were burial grounds, particularly preying on the weak, the very old, and the infants.
Federal removal agent General Nathaniel Smith, knowing of the difficulties of land travel over long distances in this case almost a thousand miles had assembled a fleet of keelboats constructed by the government, and they were on the Tennessee River awaiting use. The boats were 130 feet in length, each with a house one hundred feet long, twenty feet wide, and two stories high, with banister rails around the top deck. Each floor was partitioned into rooms fifty by twenty feet, and each room had windows and a stove. For cooking, there were five hearths on the top deck. The fleet could carry more than a thousand Cherokees and blacks, returning for others, so that the entire tribe could be moved in this way by winter.
For the first voyage,  however, only three hundred  Indians voluntarily registered. Others drifted in, but fifty  deserted on feeling the shifting of the keelboat's deck under their feet and hearing stories of shipwreck and cholera along the river. Cherokees attached mystic powers to rivers and both feared and respected them. More than four hundred persevered, but once they reached Ohio, waves pounded the boat and the passengers all swarmed onto the small smelter, believing the big one to be sinking. They would not, even after the storm, return to quarters, so the big boat was cast adrift and the little boat steamed on, reaching Arkansas before its increased draft threatened it with grounding.
Lieutenant Edward Deas, the government conductor, led the passengers onto a steamer with less draft, and for a week that boat chugged along, negotiating shallows. Once it could go no farther, Deas led the Indians ashore, hired wagons and oxen, and moved them overland to their property in the Arkansas territory. The trip took twenty-one days. Two infants, who were ill at the start, died. One was Cherokee, the other black. It had not been an easy trip, and it was certainly eventful and dangerous, but it was fast and easy when compared to land travel, which might take three months.
General Smith had received reports from Lt. Deas occasionally and was pleased. Before Deas had arrived in Arkansas, Smith had sent out a second group by water, Indians and slaves leaving on the seventeenth [17th] of June, 1838. All of these passengers had registered to go west, had sold most of their possessions, and had packed the remainder, and they had come voluntarily with their families to the dock. They were not in that respect typical of the Indians who remained.
For those recalcitrant ones, it was decided that soldiers would be needed. The government put General Winfield SCOTT, a six-foot-four-inch, big-bodied veteran of wars and skirmishes, in command. John Ross, who was in Washington at the time of the appointment, rushed to meet him and discussed the impropriety of the mission. SCOTT listened politely, but did not change his plans.
He arrived at New Echota in early May, established headquarters,
and converted the Council House into a barracks. In the
four states he assembled an army of seven thousand men, regulars
and volunteers, infantry, cavalry, artillery. He was respected by
President Van Buren and ex-President Jackson. In fact, some
years previously, he had accepted Jackson's challenge to a duel.
He appeared at the grounds, where the two shook hands and
returned home, each satisfied with the other's courage. After that
they were friends. General SCOTT had met Indians in three cam-
paigns, one in 1812 when he was in his mid-twenties, in the Black
Hawk war of 1832, and during a conflict with the Seminoles two
He divided the Cherokee territory into three parts—western, central, and eastern districts—and in each he ordered his men to construct several immense collection camps affording shade, water, and security, to which in the next little while the Indian families could be brought; whenever a small number was gath- ered in a camp, they would be led to one of three river ports: Ross's Landing on the Tennessee, Gunter's Landing on the Tennessee, and the Cherokee Agency on the Hiwassee, where new federal boats would transport them to the Mississippi, down that river to the Arkansas, and thence upstream to their destination.
His first proclamation to the Cherokees proved to be jarring. As he said, it was the message of a soldier:
Gen. SCOTT issued many orders specifying just how the roundup is to take place, and with what respectful attitude. He directed the soldiers to be polite and kind. The work itself would be perceived as treacherous by a people unwilling to leave their homes.
In Order #25, May 17, he set up the various district commands and gave his view of the Indians:
In Order 34, issued May 24, 1838, he set dates for the
roundup to begin, the twenty-sixth in Georgia and ten days later
in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Alabama:
He was in command of every detail. And he was distrustful of many of his soldiers' "attitudes". The Georgia state militia was made up of volunteers temporarily on duty, composed in part of the same men who had come to the gold fields or who were awaiting their portion of Cherokee land; General SCOTT was watchful of the Georgians particularly. As a general rule. North Carolinians and Tennesseans were evenly disposed toward the Indians; the Alabamans were less so. He was aware that some of the white Georgians on arrival at New Echota were vowing never to return home without killing at least one Indian. Their ferocious language surprised him, coming from supposed Christians, and he decided to remain personally with the Georgian division of the operation in order to control it. Georgians seemed to deny, General SCOTT noticed, that Indians were human beings, an attitude he found reprehensible.
General SCOTT appealed to his men on the basis of Christianity to deal gently with this assignment, but it fell upon deaf ears. He was present in the camp on the Hiwassee all the first day of the roundup, that was the only day he "observed" for any cruelity..
These records are part of the "Genealogy Computer Package" *** PC-PROFILE *** Volume - II.
Sarratt/Sarrett/Surratt Family Profile©
Compiled and self Published in Oct. 31, 1989 by Paul R. Sarrett, Jr. with
the assistance of my late mother
Mrs. M. Lucille (WILSON) SARRETT (1917-1987)
These 1989 "Work-Books" were compiled by listing the various families, born, married, died, and a history of that family branch.
In 1996 I started "Up-Loading" this material on the now called SFA© Series...prs