Twenty-five years after the removal it was my privilege to meet a large company of the Cherokees in uniform of the Confederate Army under command of Colonel Thomas. They were encamped at Zollicoffer and I went to see them. Most of them were just boys at the time of the removal but they instantly recognized me as "the soldier that was good to us". Being able to talk to them in their native language I had an enjoyable day with them. From them I learned that Chief John Ross was still ruler in the nation in 1863. And I wonder if he is still living? He was a noble-hearted fellow and suffered a lot for his race.
The treaty gave the Cherokee three years to move west. Ross campaigned tirelessly to have the treaty annulled, without success. Ridge and a few followers moved to Indian Territory, but the majority stayed home. In the summer of 1838, Gen. Winfield Scott, who did not like his assignment, took 7,000 troops and rounded up the Cherokee at bayonet point. Only about 400 Cherokee escaped into the hills and stayed in North Carolina. Their descendants still live there today and are now recognized as the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation, the story of Spiral of Fire .