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Rogers Ramblings Trail of Tears Part 9


Hi friends and neighbors of the Marshfield Mail community. We certainly are so very blessed to have plenty of rain this year. After three years of drought I hope I never complain about mud again. O K everyone are we all ready to continue on with our story about how our Native Americans were treated when they were being rounded up for the forced march known as the Trail of Tears? Before we pick up where we left off last week, let me remind everyone about the last eight weeks. During the administrations of President Jackson and Van Buren they both had a joint goal to rid America of the five civilized tribes of Native Americans. Through years of haggling, bogus peace treaties and local hatred from greedy plantation owners and other white settlers our Indian friends stood little chance against the thousands of federal and state troops searching for their capture. Our weekly focus has been on the Cherokees however the other tribes went through similar experiences of torture and brutality. Now let’s bring everyone up to the watering trough of knowledge and remind everyone where we left off last week. General Winfield Scott commissioned Captain Folers with hundreds of federal troops to take over the Valley Flatt Plantation. The soldiers used the Valley Flat as their base of operations to ride up into nearby Cherokee land and bring Indian captives back to keep them incarcerated until the time was ready to begin their forced march to Oklahoma. The Mr Igley Moley of the Valley Flatt wants the rich farmland and slaves of the Cherokees and the army wants to capture the Indians. Idimer Hader is the Valley Flatt’s head henchman and has used a former captured slave of the Cherokees to lead the soldiers to the Cherokees hiding place inside Buzzard Beak Cave. Last week we left off with the soldiers and Idimer surrounding the cave and setting fires inside and outside to smoke the Indians and slaves out for capture. O K my faithful readers one more step. Mount up your favorite history horse to take us back into the past for this week’s sad story. All mounted? Let’s ride! Close your eyes count to three and —------ we made it! We are now in stealth mode invisible to everyone around us below. Let’s listen and watch–oh, over there by the cave entrance, fire is raging while the Indians and slaves are trapped inside. Idimer Hader, “O K men, them Injuns and slaves will be coming out like rats before you know it.(suddenly a 6 year old Indian child comes running out screaming and crying) Idimer Hader, “let me get him. (Idimer spurs his old mule and ropes the kid and dragging him around while he is screaming and hollering in pain. He stops and from a distance begins talking in Cherokee) We have one of your Di-Ni-Yo-TLI. (means children in Cherokee) Come out or else!” Instantly the child’s father comes running out with a rifle and a barrage of gunfire from the awaiting soldiers opens up and he is killed instantly.) O K rambling readers let’s listen inside the cave to what is going on with our trapped Indians and slaves. Chief Rain Frog, Tender Leaf the school teacher, Ezekiel the slave that used to be with the Cherokees until Idimer captured him and others are frantically running around dipping up water to put out the internal fires. Chief Rain Frog, “Everyone come together we must council! We finally got the fires out. Tall Tree has already been shot and killed by the white men trying to rescue his son.” Swift Horse—raising up his spear, “I say we all go out together and charge the white men and destroy them now!” Tender Leaf, “No! Please listen to me. The White Soldiers have many guns waiting for us. We must think of the future of our children and people. We must have faith that we can endure this present trial and persevere for the future of our people. I say we surrender. Otherwise we all perish.” Little Fox, “I will never surrender to them. I would rather die than surrender and be the white man's slave. What do you think Ezekiel? You’ve been the white man's slave for the last three years and our’s since birth.” Ezekiel, “ My family and people here have no choice. We either will die here today or we

surrender and become slaves for the Valley Flat Plantation. However: Before being tricked into telling me I could come back to be united with my family by Idimer Hader the white men have built stockades at the Valley Flatt. Already hundreds of your people are locked up like animals. I have heard the white soldiers talk about taking all the Indians to a faraway place called the Oklahoma Territory. You all have hope. Usins’ black people do not!” Chief Rain Frog, “I have trouble in my heart. I am not afraid to die but I do however see the wisdom for the future for our children. We must decide soon or else the white soldiers will light the fires again.” Little Fox, raises up his spear in protest, “Never will I give in. I say we die or escape the white men now. I am going now out the rear entrance and sneak around and charge them. Who will follow me now? Tender Leaf, “don’t do it! Think about your children.” Swift Horse, “I am a warrior I will die like a warrior.” (At this time: Running Deer, Swift Horse, Morning Sun all band together and leave the cave through the rear and suddenly upon leaving gunfire opens up and all three are mortally shot.) Now folks let’s go back to Idimer Hader, “Chief Rain Frog, Tender Leaf and Ezekiel and the rest of you—-I know you can hear me. We are giving you five minutes to surrender or we are going to relight the fires and you all will die. You all come out with your hands up!” Captain Folers, men prepare for the worse. Guns ready to fire if anyone comes charging out and if they surrender chain’em up. Oh my faithful readers of history. I am so very sorry. We must get back to 2024. Our horses are spent for another week. Come back next week and find out what happens to our Cherokee friends and Ekekiel and his family and the other black folks.


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