are thousands of documents and reports about the actual 'Death March' in 1838
and 1839, known as the 'Trail of Tears'.
persecution of the Cherokee people began shortly after congress passed the
'Indian Removal Act' of 1830.
Removal Forts were built in Georgia to house the Cherokee people before their
removal. The first fort was known as Camp Hinar Sixes. It was built in
September, 1830 to house members of the infamous Georgia Guard.
group of cutthroats took it upon themselves to brutalize the Cherokee. The
Georgia Guard played a major role in the removal, torture and deaths of many of
the Cherokee people during the eight year period of 1830 to 1838.
settlers moved into the area additional forts were built for the express
purpose of housing the Cherokee before their removal.
Cherokee reported to the forts, not knowing the fate that awaited them, simply
because they were told by some of the Chief's that this is what they should do.
that did not report to the forts, were forced out of their homes when the
soldiers came. (See Trail of Blood) For more details on the actions during
the death march, there are numerous websites that provide official government
reports and eyewitness accounts of the march. I have listed several of
these links in the 'Links' section.
TRAIL OF BLOOD
were greatly divided on the issue of the removal. Families that had lived in the
Nation before the Georgia Gold Rush tended to be supportive of the Cherokee.
They had easily been accepted into the Cherokee society, as neighbors, and
through marriage. The Cherokee had given the early settlers support through
their early struggles of establishing homes and farms. The Cherokee always
assisted them in their time of need.
reverse was not true for most Georgians. They viewed the Cherokee as somewhat
higher on the social level than slaves, but not much.
stories of the conditions of the removal forts were heard, some of the Cherokee
refused to report to the forts. The conditions were horrible. The 'Georgia
Guard' which manned the forts passed their days by tormenting the captives. Food
intended for the tribe was sold to local settlers. What little the Cherokee had
brought with them was stolen and sold. Cherokee women and children were
repeatedly raped and the men were beaten.
member of the Guard would later write, "during the Civil War I watched as
hundreds of men died, including my own brother, but none of that compares to
what we did to the Cherokee Indians."
Cherokee that refused to report for removal became 'renegades' and were hunted
like animals. They were considered 'fair game' to the Guard and soldiers in the
area. Through journals, letters and stories passed down through the generations
of families of both the Cherokee and the aggressors, the reality of the horror
soldiers, locals and the Guard would hunt down the 'renegades' with dogs. They
would release the dogs on men, women and children to be literally torn apart.
they were in a 'lynching' mood, they would hang them with ropes tied to tree
limbs so that their toes could almost touch the ground and laugh while the
victim slowly choked to death.
most vicious would tie pregnant women to trees, cut the fetus out of the mother
and sling the baby against trees or rocks while the mother had to watch as she
slowly bled to death.
the Cherokee refused to leave their homes, the soldiers would burn the houses
and shoot the people as they ran out to escape the flames.
horrible to put in print, maybe, but it must be remembered. There are hundreds
of stories that have been forgotten or buried with the people.
Spielberg's archives of the 'Jewish' holocaust under Nazi Germany has
films, testimonies of survivors of the concentration camps etc so the world will
not forget men's inhumanity to their fellow men. We did not have that technology
to record our story.
films, western fiction, always made attacks by the Indians as massacres and
attacks by the whites as victories. We can not let the romanticism of the
twentieth century erase what happened.
events of crimes against a people MUST be remembered no matter what the culture
as humanity strives daily to improve the conditions of the world and live in
Melody of Songs From Nature's Drums by Northsound
Harmonizing Nature with Music. (c)1996 by NorthWind Press Inc.
all rights reserved.