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A soldier named John G. Burnett, a captain in Abraham McClellan’s company who was assigned to help translate on the Trail of Tears, recorded his memories of the Trail on his 80th birthday. He refers to the Trail as the “most brutal order in the History of American Warfare.”

While his recorded memories provide many deeply moving and personal details from the Trail, the weather is perhaps the brutal element of the Trail that he refers to the most. In May of 1838, the Cherokee were rounded up and put into stockades in Cleveland, Tennessee, until October of that year, when they finally began the Trail. This means that they completed the thousand-mile journey in the dead of winter. As Burnett remembers, many were forced to walk in bare feet with only the thinnest blankets for warmth as the sleet and snow fell on them. Due to the cold and exposure, many contracted illnesses like pneumonia and died as a result.

This post has already been read 557 times!

Originally posted 2017-12-12 03:52:26.