The forced removal began in February 1875, the middle of winter, when the people were told they were going on a long trip. Oral tradition says that the people were excited and eager with anticipation. They feasted and danced not realizing their fate; however, this was to be their last healthy traditional meal and joyous dancing. Three U.S. Army officers were the guides who accompanied the people on the march. From the Rio Verde Reservation, with only the clothes on their backs, a few belongings, and a small herd of cattle, they set out for the San Carlos Reservation. They walked over rough rugged terrain, crossing swollen creeks and rivers that were at flood stage with the run-off of melting snow from further north. The strong current washed many people away. Elders and children wore no shoes or moccasins, had no warm clothing or blankets, and were forced to walk over steep mountains thick with thorns and cactus brush. Many babies were born and died along the way from exposure and had to be left behind on the trail because the Army Officers would not allow the people to bury their dead.
Fort Whipple Founded
Fort Verde Founded
Fort McDowell Founded
Rio Verde Reservation Established
San Carlos Reservation Established
Exodus to San Carlos Reservation