In the spring and summer of 1838, a journey began from the eastern portions of the United States. Native American Indians from North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama were told to abandon their lands and travel west to a new indian territory set up for them by the United States Government. This new territory was in the region of the country we know now as Oklahoma. Over 15,000 native americans travelled over 1,000 miles to reach their destination. The Indians were proud, and refused to ride, walking each step of the way. Along the path known today as the "Trail of Tears", thousands died making their journey. They refused to leave their dead, or stop to bury them, and instead, carried them as they continued. When they reached Oklahoma, their numbers were depleted considerably, as many had died, and others had left the path, unseen, and settled along the way. When they reached their new lands, the conditions were found to be very poor, and even the very necessities of life, food and blankets that had been promised were not very plentiful. This has got to be one of Americas greatest tragedies to occur to our own people. My fathers side of the family was indeed part of those that were forced to make this journey. On my grandmother's side of the family, they were Cherokee indians from Union County, North Carolina. They travelled along the Trail of Tears and settled in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Charles Reese was my great-grandmother's father. He was a prominent man among the Cherokees. He is listed on the Indian Roster as being among those who made their way. My grandfather's side of the family were Choctaw, and were from McComb, Mississippi. I suppose to me the saddest part of all now, is that during the civil war, the Court House at Siloam Springs was burned, and most records were lost. These are records that could legally claim my family as being indian, and possibly re-unite us with our native american families that still reside in the indian territories. If anyone reading this knows about the whereabouts of any of Charles Reeses family, I will post my email address below, and would be most glad to hear from them.
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