In fall 1818, over 11,000 Cherokee in nine organized groups passed by here as they continued on their Trail of Tears toward Indian Territory in the West. The Cherokee had been traveling for a few weeks but had already crossed the Tennessee River and the perilous Cumberland Plateau. Ahead lay greater dangers. They would have to cross the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, and the winter of 1838-1839 would be one of the harshest in memory.
The majority of Cherokee were literate in the Cherokee language and many spoke and wrote in English, but few chose to leave a record of their experiences of the Trail of Tears. Most of the records that survived were left by American missionaries or soldiers who sometimes accompanied the Cherokee. Captain B.B. Cannon of the Tennessee Volunteer Infantry, who traveled with a group of Cherokee a year before the forced removal, described passing through the Murfreesboro area.
Oct. 24, 1837, Marched at 1/2 after 7 co. A.M. arrived at Mr. Yearwood's at 4 oc. P.M. rained last night and to day made 15 miles. Issued corn & fodder, cornmeal and bacon.
Oct. 25, 1837, Marched at 800 buried Andrews child at 9 1/2 oc. A.M. Passed through Murfreesboro and arrived at overalls Creek 4 oc. P.M. 14 miles today. Issued corn and fodder.
Trail of Tears by Brummett Echohawk