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In Their Own Words

May 30, 1838

Report on Cherokee Removal

From New Echota, Gen. Winfield Scott wrote to the U.S. Secretary of War:

“Without waiting for all the new levies [of soldiers] to reach their stations, operations were commenced on the 26th [of May]. Of the fifteen stations in Georgia, we have already heard from twelve, up to different dates, and estimate the number of prisoners secured to be not less than 2500. It is probable, I think, that in eight or ten days more all the Georgia Indians will have been collected, with the exception of stragglers, and the greater number put in march for the emigrating depots. Several parties are already known to be under escort for Ross’s Landing.

“… If my address had not been counteracted by many letters from the Cherokee delegation at Washington, saying that a new treaty was about to be signed between the War Department and them, we should now have had one-third of the nation at the principal depots as voluntary emigrants.

“Four companies of the United States Second Artillery, under Lieutenant Colonel Crane, with prisoners taken up at the posts on the route passed north of this place yesterday for Ross’s Landing. The First and fourth Artillery have probably, under Brigadier General Eustis, reached Fort Butler. I do not learn that the six troops of United States of United States dragoons have even been put in motion from Florida. The same remark is applicable to the marines, and I have just officially learned that four companies of the Second Artillery, the Third Artillery and Fourth Infantry are to come via the ocean, the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee. These troops, like the dragoons and marines, may not be up in time to render any service in the collection of the Indians, unless a stand should be made in the mountains of North Carolina. Under this delay, and considering the great extent of country to be scoured. I now do not think that I have too many militia in the field.”

Source: Edward J. Cashin (ed.), A Wilderness Still the Cradle of Nature: Frontier Georgia (Savannah, Beehive Press, 1994), pp. 140-141.