Long before Union and Confederate armies peered at one another from their fortifications in 1863, Chattanooga had been known as a gateway to the South, a city nestled between mountain passes on the confluence of several major railroads and the Tennessee River. No wonder soldiers were willing to shed their lifeblood on some of the deadliest battlefields of the Civil War to control the city. However, after the fog of war lifted, Chattanooga was never the same.
In 1891, President Benjamin Harrison stated, “Then Chattanooga was war’s gateway to the south; now it is the gateway of peace, commerce, and prosperity.” Visitors can participate in a number of programs being offered that focus on the question of the city’s rebirth during and after the fight for Chattanooga.
Saturday, November 21
Join park rangers as they lead 30 minute walking tours of Point Park, atop Lookout Mountain, at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Visitors can also participate in special 30 minute programs at the Ochs Museum inside Point Park at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. In addition to the programs in Point Park, a ranger will lead a 2.5 hour, two to three mile hike from Sunset Rock to Cravens House at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Park Historian Jim Ogden will offer a two hour, two mile walking tour at 9:30 a.m. about Joseph Hooker’s demonstration against Lookout Mountain that begins along Parker Lane off Brown’s Ferry Road, south of Interstate 24 Exit 175 in Lookout Valley/Tiftonia. Look for the “Special Event” signs at and on Parker Lane. He will also conduct a two hour car caravan tour at 3:30 p.m. following Sherman’s crossing of the Tennessee River and his assault on Billy Goat Hill near Missionary Ridge that begins at the Riverpoint Trailhead on the Tennessee Riverwalk at Lost Mound Drive in the 3800 block of Amnicola Highway.
Also, for visitors wishing to see the Cravens House and hear the stories related to the family and the “Battle Above the Clouds,” the house will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, November 22
Park rangers will continue leading 30 minute walking tours of Point Park at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. Special 30 minute programs will also continue at the Ochs Museum inside Point Park at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Park Historian Jim Ogden will lead a two hour, 1.5 mile walking tour of Sherman’s assault on Tunnel Hill at 10 a.m. and a two hour, one mile walking tour at 2 p.m., covering the defense of Tunnel Hill by Confederates under the command of General Patrick Cleburne. Both programs begin at the Sherman Reservation parking area in the 2800 block of Lightfoot Mill Road just off Campbell Street/North Crest Road.
Also, for visitors wishing to see the Cravens House and hear the stories related to the family and the “Battle Above the Clouds,” the house will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Please note there is an entrance fee of $5 per adult, ages 16 and older, to enter Point Park.
There are no admission charges for the Saturday hikes from Sunset Rock to Cravens House or for any of the historian led tours on Saturday or Sunday.
For specific program information, including program times and locations (particularly for the tours led by Park Historian Jim Ogden), contact the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at (706) 866-9241, the Lookout Mountain Battlefield Visitor Center at (423) 821-7786, or visit www.nps.gov/chch.