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The Answer to Illegal Settlement on Cherokee Land
The Cherokee Light Horse
Fort Oglethorpe, GA: On Saturday, December 3, at 2 pm, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military
Park will provide a special 30-minute program about the use of the Cherokee Light Horse as a measure to
answer the issue of illegal settlement on Cherokee land. This program will take place at Moccasin Bend
National Archeological District’s Gateway Site (10 Hamm Road, Chattanooga, TN 37405). Participants are
encouraged to dress appropriate for the weather, and folding chairs are also encouraged for the program.
On June 19, 1820, John Ross penned a letter to General Andrew Jackson, who had authority over military
affairs in the South, asking him to provide support for the removal of white settlers illegally living south of the
Tennessee River and north of Ross’ home. The illegal inhabitants ignored a January 1 deadline to depart, and
now, it was time to face consequences. However, Jackson was unwilling to assist because his troops were
involved in removing shrubs for a new military road being constructing through Tennessee. This meant the
Cherokees had to employ their own force to remove the illegal settlers, and that force came in the form of
the Cherokee Light Horse. What was the Cherokee Light Horse’s mission? Why were settlers crossing the
Tennessee River to illegally squat on Cherokee land? We invite you to join us as we explore these questions
related to the scene unfolding in the summer of 1820 between present-day Chattanooga, TN, and Rossville,
For more information about programs at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, contact the
Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at 706-866-9241, the Lookout Mountain Battlefield Visitor Center at
423-821-7786, or visit the park website at www.nps.gov/chch.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 423
national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create closeto-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.

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