September 19, 1863 - Battle of Chickamauga


Photo of Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia


Joseph Caylor… Veterans of both Confederate and Union of the American Civil War saw the need to save battlefields they fought in across the country near the end of the 19th century. The largest of these, and the first designated, is situated on several sites in and around Chattanooga, Tennessee and over the state line in North Georgia. It is now a national park free for anyone to enjoy. I can't begin to tell you of the epic story of what happened at this preserved land from September-November 1863. The foresight of these veterans now make it possible through extensive monuments (over 1,000 in the park), trails, and designated signage to tell the story of how in Chickamauga, the Confederacy won its greatest battle in the Western Theater; and in Chattanooga, how the Union won the upper hand and the "Gateway to the South" was theirs, leading to ultimate victory. Only by visiting it yourself, can you grasp the magnitude of what went on here. Reading about it can only do so much, but standing on Snodgrass Hill where General George Thomas earned the name 'The Rock of Chickamauga' to the lesser known stories of soldiers and generals from both sides is amazing once you actually go there. If you do anything at this park and don't have a lot of time, start at he visitor center at Chickamauga Battlefield, which has an extensive collection of firearms to view. Next, visit the Wilder Brigade Monument (it's like a mini-castle!) also at Chickamauga, and tour Point Park atop Lookout Mountain (another mini-castle too, the shape of the Army Corps of Engineers logo!). Although the park is spread throughout and around Chattanooga itself, this park is amazing for any history buff, photographer, or anyone who wants to escape for a day and be in nature on very hallowed ground.