As they trudged westward, the parties that left Blythe's Ferry in the early fall of 1838 endured lingering health problems from diseases, such as diarrhea, dysentery, measles, and whooping cough, which began during their long stay in stockades. Heavy hearts and sadness for those that died while imprisoned added greatly to their suffering. Sadness swept through the detachments as children and elderly members of the group were laid to rest in unmarked graves along the roadside.
"It has been exceedingly cold for some time past, which renders the condition of those who are thinly clad, very uncomfortable.
I am afraid that, with all the care that can be exercised with the various detachments, there will be an immense amount of suffering, and loss of life attending the removal. Great numbers of the old, the young and the infirm, will inevitably be sacrificed. And the fact that the removal is effected by coercion, makes it the more galling to the feelings of the survivors."
Evan Jones, in Baptist Missionary, December 30, 1838.