Where Trails Converge: Commemorating the 180th Anniversary of the Trail of Tears

October 4, 2018

(Photo: "Trail of Tears," historical painting by Max D. Standley)


On Saturday, Oct. 13, and Sunday, Oct. 14, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park will provide a series of programs focusing on the 180th anniversary of the Trail of Tears in the Chattanooga area. These programs will be at different locations, both on and off National Park Service property. Program information, including times and locations, are below.   


Saturday, Oct. 13

  • The Shuttering of a Mission (Brainerd Mission Cemetery, off Brainerd Road in Chattanooga, TN): Beginning at 10 am, this 45-minute program will focus on Brainerd Mission’s connection with the Cherokee and its closure as a result of the Indian Removal. Come learn about the plight of the Cherokee, some of whom were educated at Brainerd before being forced from their homes to Ross’s Landing and whatever lay beyond. The Reverend Daniel Buttrick, a missionary at Brainerd, remembered and recorded scenes of removal, including the Cherokees' exposure to wind and rain, being herded “together, men, women and children, like droves of hogs,” treatment that hastened many to a premature grave.                         

  • Under the Shadow of Fort Cumming (Meet at John B. Gordon Hall, off Hwy 27 in LaFayette, GA): Beginning at 2 p.m., this 45-minute program will focus on the Cherokee who lived in North Georgia in the years leading up to their forced removal in 1838. The Cherokee saw the odds mounting against them in the early 1800s, so many embraced the idea of becoming like the “white man” in an attempt to hold on to their homes and lands. It didn't work. Many Cherokee families in northwest Georgia were forced into camps to await removal, such as the one "under the shadow of Fort Cumming." Join us to learn about the life of the Cherokee and how it was turned upside down as they trudged from the fort to Ross’s Landing to await their ultimate fate. 


Sunday, Oct. 14

  • Ross’s Landing West (Meet at Brown’s Ferry Road Trail, 707 Moccasin Bend Road, Chattanooga, TN):  Beginning at 2 p.m., this 90-minute program will feature a walk along traces of one of the actual Indian Removal routes–the road across Moccasin Bend leading to Brown’s Ferry on the Tennessee River. It will discuss the removal parties of both June and October 1838 as the Cherokee were transported west by land and water. Come learn about aspects of a history that shaped peoples, a region and nations, on some of the very ground where it happened.


For more information about programs at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, contact the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at (706) 866-9241, the Lookout Mountain Battlefield Visitor Center at (423) 821-7786, or visit the park website at www.nps.gov/chch.


About the National Park Service 

More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.

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