"They drove us out of our house"

"They drove us out of our house" (HMQFE)

Location: Birchwood, TN 37308 Meigs County
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Country: United States of America
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N 35° 24.423', W 85° 0.383'

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Beginning on May 26, 1838, soldiers began rounding up Cherokee women, men, and children. They showed little concern or respect for families or their property. In the first days, confusion abounded as soldiers and militiamen gathered individuals wherever they were found. The military's action divided families and split communities.

"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 lack of food they were accustomed to eating.

"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
Series This marker is part of the Trail of Tears series
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, August 31st, 2014 at 6:20pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 681027 N 3920010
Decimal Degrees35.40705000, -85.00638333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 24.423', W 85° 0.383'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 24' 25.38" N, 85° 0' 22.98" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)423
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 9690 Blythe Ferry Lane, Birchwood TN 37308, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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