After spending months in concentration camps (called stockades to make it sound better), with little shelter and food not fit for human consumption, they were divided up in detachments and sent west. They survived one of the coldest winters on record and at one point, according to the journal of Rev. Daniel S. Butrick, approximately 8000 were stranded by the ice on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. They were freezing and there was sickness and death everywhere. Despite this, as a nation, they endured and survived. They reached Indian Territory and rebuilt their nation in an untamed land and they thrived. While the Trail of Tears is a sad part of our history, it serves as an example of the strength of the Cherokees. They couldn't prevent the removal, but they could triumph over it. They did, so never forget.
Out of the 15,000 Cherokee who endured the forced migration west after the Treaty of 1835, it is estimated that several thousand died along the way or in internment camps. The Cherokees call the removal "Nunna-da-ul-tsun-yi," which means “the place where they cried.” Today, it is known as the Trail of Tears.