Trail of Tears State Park
photo by Yvonne
The pristine 3,415-acre setting creates a peaceful memorial to the 3,000-4,000 Cherokee who died on the forced march through North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas to Oklahoma.
Beginning in May of 1838, over 7,000 troops, under the command of General Winfield Scott, moved into Cherokee country and began rounding-up, disarming the Cherokee and placing them in stockades to await forced removal. Unbearable suffering created an unthinkable devastation of "The People". Ultimately over 16,000 Cherokee were forced to march on the "Trail of Tears" beginning in June of 1838. Contaminated water and food supplies and dysentery struck the group and their marching had to be delayed until October, 1838.
In January of 1839 the winter crossing of the Mississippi River from southern Illinois into Missouri was treacherous. There were delays due to large chunks of ice passing swiftly down river. For days the group suffered the cold January winter