Wayside Exhibit of the Trail of Tears

Fort Butler

Fort Butler was the army headquarters for Cherokee Removal in North Carolina. Located on a hill above the present-day town of Murphy, the fort featured a blockhouse, palisade, barracks, a hospital, and other buildings. Camps for the temporary housing of Cherokee prisoners were located to the north and east of the fort. 3,000 Cherokees passed through Fort Butler in 1838 on their way to deportation camps in eastern Tennessee. From this spot, Cherokee prisoners were marched on the Unicoy Turnpike to Fort Armistead in Tennessee, and from there to emigration camps near present-day Charleston, Tennessee.


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