The Untold Truth Of The Trail Of Tears

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 The Untold Truth Of The Trail Of Tears

Of course, it didn’t work out anywhere near as nicely as General Scott envisioned. Contemporary accounts reveal horrific abuses. One Cherokee who was subjected to the horror later wrote about what happened and sent his writing to the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Even before they started walking on the Trail it was horrible, especially if people didn’t go willingly:



“For these soldiers were sent, by Gorgia [sic], and [the Cherokee] were gathered up and driven, at the point of the bayonet, into camp with the others. [T]hey were not allowed to take any of their household stuff, but were compelled to leave as they were, with only the clothes which they had on. One old, very old man, asked the soldiers to allow him time to pray once more, with his family in the dear old home, before he left it forever. The answer was, with a brutal oath, ‘No! no time for prayers. Go!’ at the same time giving him a rude push toward the door. Indians were evicted, the whites entered, taking full possession of everything left.”



Once they got underway things got worse. It was winter and most Cherokee had inadequate clothes and blankets. They were herded like cattle, whipped to go faster, and died by the thousands from exposure, malnutrition, exhaustion, and disease. One soldier who was there called it “the most brutal order in the History of American Warfare,” saying, “the sufferings of the Cherokees [on the Trail of Tears] were awful” and that it was straight-up “murder.”



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