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The first contingents of Tsa-La-Gi emigrations, totaling approximately 2,800 Tsa-La-Gi, were divided into three detachments, which traveled by water. The first group, numbering approximately 800, departed on 6 June 1838, with the other two detachments leaving after 15 June 1838. These three contingents left under military supervision and were each accompanied by a military escort, two physicians, and a corps of assistants. These three groups left before the Tsa-La-Gi requested and were granted permission to supervise their own migration.

The first three contingents are thought to have had a much higher rate of deaths and desertions than the 13 subsequent contingents that left under their own supervision.

The first of the two tables below shows the contingents that left the concentration camp located in what is now northern Bradley County, who led each contingent, when they left, and when they arrived at their destination.

The second table shows approximately how many people were in each contingent when it embarked, how many arrived at the destination, births en route, deaths en route, desertions, and accessions.

You might notice discrepancies in the numbers. The differences between the number of people who left and the number who arrived does not necessarily balance with the number of births, deaths, desertions, and accessions. It must be kept in mind that all numbers are approximate, based on available documentation.

Not mentioned in the tables is the approximately 1,500 Tsa-La-Gi who died in the concentration camps from dysentery, starvation, food poisoning from the rancid meat and rotted corn meal, exposure, dehydration, and other diseases common to such conditions of imprisonment between the time of their incarceration and the time they embarked on their trek. The concentration camp that was located between Charleston and Cleveland, Tennessee, south of and bordering on the Hiawassee River covered a 10 square mile area (2 miles X 5 miles). More than 10,000 of the almost 16,000 Tsa-La-Gi who made up the 16 contingents were incarcerated at this single camp.

Also not accounted for in the tables below are approximately 800 Tsa-La-Gi who died after arrival in Indian Territory. The Trail of Tears was only the beginning of their suffering. In a strange environment, with rotten food provided by corrupt Indian Agents and poor provisions made for the arrival of the Tsa-La-Gi, many arrived safely in Indian Territory only to starve to death, freeze to death, or die from exposure and related diseases.

Click HERE for a map of the water and land routes that are collectively known today as the "Trail of Tears."

 

 
 
The 13 Contingents leaving under their own supervision:

 
DETACHMENT DEPARTED ARRIVED
Hair Conrad Aug 23, 1838 Jan 17, 1839
Elijah Hicks Sep  1, 1838 Jan  4, 1839
Jesse Bushyhead Sep  3, 1838 Feb 27, 1839
John Benge Sep 28, 1838 Jan 17, 1839
Situwaki Sep  7, 1838 Feb  2, 1839
Old Field Sep 24, 1838 Feb 23, 1839
Moses Daniel Sep 30, 1838 Mar  2, 1839
Tsuwaluka Sep 14, 1838 Mar   , 1839
James Brown Sep 10, 1838 Mar  5, 1839
George Hicks Sep  7, 1838 Mar 14, 1839
Richard Taylor Sep 20, 1838 Mar 24, 1839
Peter Hildebrand Oct 23, 1838 Mar 24, 1839
John Drew Dec  5, 1838 Mar 18, 1839

 

 

 

 
 Tsa-La-Gi Births & Casualties on the Trail of Tears
  
DETACHMENT DEPARTED ARRIVED BIRTHS DEATHS DESERTIONS ACCESSION

06 JUNE 1838 (1)

800 ? ? ? ? ?

15 JUNE 1838 (2 & 3)

2000 ? ? ? ? ?
Hair Conrad  729 654 9 57 24 14
Elijah Hicks 858 744 5 54 ? ?
Jesse Bushyhead 950 898 6 38 148 171
John Benge 1200 1132 3 33 ? ?
Situwaki 1250 1033 5 71 ? ?
Old Field 983 921 19 57 10 6
Moses Daniel 1035 924 6 48 ? ?
Tsuwaluka 1150 970 ? NA ? ?
James Brown 850 717 3 34 ? ?
George Hicks 1118 1039 ? NA ? ?
Richard Taylor 1029 942 15 55 ? ?
Peter Hildebrand 1766 1311 ? NA ? ?
John Drew 231 219 ? NA ? ?
TOTAL 15,949 ~11,504 ~71 ~447 ~182 ~191
 

 

Statistics for Tables: 
Anderson, William L., ed. (1992). Cherokee Removal: Before and After (ISBN: 082031482X). Athens, Ga: U. of Ga. Press.
 

RECOMMENDED READING

Cherokee Removal: Before and After
ISBN: 082031482X
William L. Anderson, Editor
Published June 1992
University of Georgia Press
330 Research Drive
Athens, Georgia 30602-4901

FOR DETAILED INFORMATION, VISIT: 

The Cherokee Trail of Tears 
Cherokee History 
Trail of Tears Timeline 
Trail of Tears Association 
Missouri Chapter Trail of Tears Association
North Georgia Trail of Tears Association
Driving the Trail of Tears
Cherokee Nation Web Site--History