Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Trail of Tears / Bell and Benge Removal Routes

Marker ID:  
Location: intersection of East College St and S. Rhodes St. Pulaski, TN
County: Giles
Coordinates: N 35° 11.736    W 087° 1.752
  35.1956    -87.0292
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None


The 1830 Indian Removal Act mandated the removal of all American Indian Tribes East of the Mississippi River to lands in the West. Pulaski, Tennessee is where the Bell and Benge routes crossed in 1838. Benge's route left Fort Payne, AL on September 29, 1838 with 60 wagons, 600 horses and about 1132 Cherokee. Benge traveled north through Ardmore, crossing the Elk River at Elkton to Pulaski, where it crossed Richland Creek and then proceeded northwest through Campbellsville, Mt. Pleasant to Reynoldsburg, up and crossed the state line into Kentucky. They arrived in Indian Territory on January 17, 1839. Bell's detachment was composed of about 660 Cherokee led by Cherokee John Bell, a signer of the New Echota Treaty. The Bell detachment opted for a more direct route to Indian Territory through southern Tennessee. The group was also led by a military escort, Lt. Edward Deas. The detachment with 56 wagons and 318 horses headed south from present day Charleston, TN on October 11, 1838 toward present day Chattanooga, TN. The detachment traveled through Jasper, up Battle Creek to Monteagle Mountain. After crossing Monteagle they traveled through Winchester, Fayetteville, Pulaski, Lawrenceburg, and on to Memphis. The route follows the general alignment US Highway 64.

Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society-"with you through life" and the Trail of Remembrance Motorcycle Ride.


More information:
Wikipedia: Trail of Tears