Near Birchwood in Meigs County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
"Orders No. 25"
Gen. Winfield Scott's Proclamation to the Cherokee People
— ~10 May 1838~ —
My friends! This is no sudden determination on the part of the President, whom you and I must now obey. By the treaty, the emigration was to have been completed on or before the 23rd of this month; and the President has constantly kept you warned, during the two years allowed, through all his officers
I am come to carry out that determination. My troops already occupy many positions in the country that you are to abandon, and thousands and thousands are approaching from every quarter, to render resistance and escape alike hopeless. All those troops, regular and militia, are your friends. Receive them and confide in them as such. Obey them when they tell you that your can remain no longer in this country. Soldiers are as kind-hearted as brave, and the desire of every one of us is to execute our painful duty in mercy. We are commanded by the President to act towards you in that spirit, and much is also the wish of the whole people of America.
Chiefs, head-men and warriors! Will you then, by resistance, compel us to resort to arms? God forbid! Or will you, by flight, seek to hid yourselves in mountains and forests, and thus oblige us to hunt you down? Remember that, in pursuit, it may be impossible to avoid conflicts. The blood of the white man or the blood of the red man may be spilt, and, if spilt, however accidentally, it may be impossible for the discreet and humane among you, or among us, to prevent a general war and carnage. Think of this, my Cherokee brethren! I am an old warrior, and have been present at many a scene of slaughter, but spare me, I beseech you, the horror of witnessing the destruction
Do not, I invite you, even wait for the close approach of the troops; but make such preparations for emigration as you can and hasten to this place, to Ross' Landing or to Gunter's Landing, where you all will be received in kindness by officers selected for the purpose. You will find food for all and clothing for the destitute at either of those places, and thence at your ease and in comfort be transported to your new homes, according to the terms of the treaty.
This is the address of a warrior to warriors. May his entreaties be kindly received and may the God of both prosper the Americans and Cherokees and preserve them long in peace and friendship with each other!
"The full moon of May is already on the wane; and before another shall have passed away, every Cherokee man, woman and child in those states must be in motion to join their brethren in the far West."
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Native Americans • Settlements & Settlers • Wars, US Indian. In addition, it is included in the Trail of Tears series list.
Location. 35° 24.423′ N, 85° 0.383′ W. Marker is near Birchwood, Tennessee, in Meigs County. Marker can be reached from Blythe Ferry Road 2 miles north of Hiwassee Highway (Tennessee Highway 60), on the right when traveling north. Marker is located at the Cherokee Removal Memorial Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Birchwood TN 37308, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. General Winfield Scott (here, next to this marker); "To Learn and not Forget" (here, next to this marker); "Your Fate is Decided" (here, next to this marker); "Chains of Friendship" (here, next to this marker); "Given by the Great Spirit above" (here, next to this marker); "A Desire to Possess" (here, next to this marker); "Not a treaty at all" (here, next to this marker); "Forced from this country" (here, next to this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Birchwood.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on January 6, 2011, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. This page has been viewed 502 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on January 6, 2011, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.