Memories of the Trail
By Rebecca Neugin, recorded by Grant Foreman in 1932. Ms. Neugin was a
half-blood Cherokee, and was three years old when making the trip with her
When the soldier came to our house, my father wanted to fight, but my mother
told him that the soldiers would kill him if he did and we surrendered
without a fight. They drove us out of our house to join other prisoners in a
stockade. After they took us away, my mother begged them to let her go back
and get some bedding. So they let her go back and she brought what bedding
and few cooking utensils she could carry and had to leave behind all of our
other household possessions.
My father had a wagon pulled by two spans of oxen to haul us in. Eight of my
brothers and sisters and two or three widow women and children rode with us.
My brother Dick, who was a good deal older than I was, walked along with a
long whip which he popped over the backs of the oxen and drove them all the
way. My father and mother walked all the way also.
The people got so tired of eating salt pork on the journey that my father
would walk through the woods as we traveled, hunting for turkeys and deer
which he brought into camp to feed us. Camp was usually made at some place
where water was to be had and when we stopped and prepared to cook our food,
other emigrants who had been driven from their homes without opportunity to
secure cooking utensils came to our camp to use our pots and kettles. There
was much sickness among the emigrants and a great many little children died
of whooping cough.
*Note: Cultural information may vary from clan to clan, location to
location, family to family, and from differing opinions and experiences.
Information provided here are not 'etched in stone'.