Lt. Edward Deas to Major General Winfield Scott — October 22 1838
Encampment of Indians
near Jasper, E. Tenn.e
22, October 1838
Major General Winfield Scott,
Command Eastern Division
Your letter of the 19th reached me on the 20th instant, but I am happy to be able to say, that circumstances had so much changed for the better, relative to the progress of the Party under my charge, that in my opinion the presence of a guard had become unnecessary. I have no doubt, however, that the knowledge of a detachment of troops having been ordered to attend the Party, has produced a salutary effect, & I trust that hereafter no further unnecessary delays will occur.
Every think at present is going on well, & all appear satisfied, & no exertions shall be spared on my part, to render their journey to the West as comfortable & expeditious as possible.
It having been necessary, by the route we travel, to cross the Tennessee R. three times, our progress thus far has been slow, but after crossing the Cumberland mountain our rate of travelling will be very difficult.
This Party being small, & taking into our consideration the number of Indians passing over the Missouri route-the dryness of the past season affecting the roads-the probability of ready supplies, all other circumstances; I have concluded that we had better pursue the route by Memphis, provided the people themselves are willing to do so. The latter must be more than 150 miles shorter, than the route thro’ Missouri, & the cost thus saved would far more than pay the extra expense of running round the Mississippi swamp by water, to Rock-Row on White river, should the road thro’ the swamp, be found in a bad state for wagons, upon our arrival at Memphis, which I can scarcely believe will be the case.
There is nothing further for me to communicate, I believe, at present, upon the subject of the Party of Emigrants under my charge.
I have the honor to be, sir,
Yo. Mo. Obt. Servt.
Source: Lt. Edward Deas to General W. Scott, October 22, 1838, National Archives Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Letters Received, Cherokee Emigration, Roll 115, S1555 No. 2