[ASP, Mil. Aff., v.6, p. 773]
Paducah, Kentucky, mouth of Tennessee river, December 28, 1835.
On the 21st I had the honor to address you from Tuscumbia, Alabama, on the subject of emigrating party of Creek Indians, now on their way to the west. At the time I wrote it was intended to proceed at least as far as Memphis by land, but the day after travelers arriving from that direction gave such extremely unfavorable accounts of the state of the roads that it was decided to take water at Tuscumbia, which was done accordingly. The Indian ponies wore, as usual, sent on by land under charge of agents, and a sufficient number of volunteers from the Indians to take proper care of them. The party arrived at this place to-day, at 9 o'clock a. m., on board the steamboat Alpha, and two keels, and landed, and will proceed this afternoon, as soon as the necessary provisions can be procured and placed on board. Nothing of particular importance has occurred since I last wrote.
One negro boy died at Tuscumbia on the 22d, but thus far little sickness has occurred. We left Tuscumbia on the afternoon of the 23d, and since that time the mode of travelling has been to stop before dark, and allow the party to encamp, and start the next morning after daylight. In this way the Indians prefer this mode of conveyance to travelling by land, and appear well satisfied in all respects. The same plan is intended to be pursued until we arrive at Fort Gibson, unless circumstances should make it preferable on all accounts to continue to run at night. Fresh beef and meal have been regularly issued since we left Tuscumbia, and temporary hearths have been constructed on the decks of the two keel-boats, by which the people are enabled to prepare their food and keep themselves warm through the day. They are also cleaned out every night after stopping, and I shall continue to see that all proper precautions are taken to insure the health and comfort of the emigrants.
There is nothing further to communicate upon this subject at present; but I hope that in a short time I shall be enabled to inform you from Memphis that the party is still progressing upon its route in good condition.
I have the honor, &c.,
EDW. DEAS, 2d Lieutenant and Disbursing Agent of Greek Emigration.
Gen. Geo. Gibson, Commissary General of Subsistence.