Moving the thousand's of people and about 5,000 horses and 500 wagons across the Tennessee River at Blythe's Ferry proved slow. Some crossings took as long as three days.
"I reached Blythe's ferry on Sunday evening last, and found the great body of Mr. [Peter] Hildebrand's detachment of Emigrating Cherokees quietly encamped on the South bank of the Tennessee river, and a portion with about twelve wagons, who had crossed, on the north bank. On yesterday morning at dawn of day the Emigrants were in readiness and Commenced crossing the river - four boats were put in requisition and continued running until dusk, two of them were manned by Cherokees themselves. At the close of the day about sixty one wagons of the detachment with the people were safely lodged across the river. The business of crossing was again resumed early this morning, and before 12 o'clock eighteen wagons, carriages...with all the people were over."
John Ross to Winfield Scott, November 12, 1838