Near Birchwood in Meigs County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
"They drove us out of our house"
"The military forces that had been ordered into the country were divided into companies, and a district given each for the clearing of it Cherokee inhabitants. Some neighborhoods were taken by foot soldiers and the prisoners marched at the point of bayonet, while other were taken by a party on horse, and some permitted to ride their own horses, and the small children often conveyed in wagon[s]..." Lucy Ames Butler to Drusilla Burnap, January 2, 1839
After the initial roundup and concentration, large groups of Cherokees marched overland to emigration depots near the Tennessee River. Jammed together in unsanitary encampments hundreds of Cherokees suffered from diarrhea, dysentery, measles, and whooping cough. Dependent on the United States Army for food and clothes, many suffered from exposure and
"June 16, 1838, Camp Hetzel, Near Cleveland. The Cherokees are nearly all prisoners. The have been dragged from their houses, and encamped at the forts and military posts, all over the nation. In Georgia, especially, multitudes were allowed no time to take anything with them, except the clothes they had on. Well furnished houses were left prey to plunderers, who, like hungry wolves, follow in the train of the captors. These wretches rifle the houses, and strip the helpless, unoffending owners of all they have on earth. Females who have been habituated to comforts and comparative affluence, are driven on foot before the bayonets of brutal men. Their feelings are mortified by vulgar and profane vociferations. It is a painful sight." Evan Jones, in Baptist Missionary September 1838
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Government & Politics • Native Americans • 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 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); "Orders No. 25" (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). 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 7, 2011, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. This page has been viewed 333 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on January 7, 2011, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.