Trail of Tears
In 1838, nearly 2,000 Cherokee, their enslaved Africans, and others stopped at Brown's Ferry (a few yards to your left) and gazed across the Tennessee River toward the landing on the opposite bank. They must have been consumed with various thoughts.
Perhaps their minds drifted to memories of times gone by or of the homes, farms, and lives they left behind. As they climbed into the boat to be ferried across the river, this place became a significant part of their journey.
The majority of Confederates guarding the far ferry landing in the pre-dawn darkness of October 27, 1863, slept soundly. Suddenly, more than a thousand blue-clad soldiers seemed to burst forth from the river, exiting their pontoon boats and scattering the Southern soldiers (inset). This act of bravery opened the way for supplies to reach starving Union soldiers in Chattanooga. The life-sustaining supply line would forever be known as "The Cracker Line."