"The two battles" Top 5 Page for this destination Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park by goingsolo

When men take up arms to set other men free, there is something sacred and holy in the warfare.

Woodrow Wilson

During the fall of 1863, two of the fiercest and most strategic battles were fought on this now hallowed ground. The prize, of sorts, was to capture the city of Chattanooga, otherwise known as the key to the Confederacy. From here, the Union forces could push their way southward and, as history proved, destroy Confederate resistance and bring about an end to the war. As they were known to do, Confederate forces dug in deep and held the ground initially. Fighting was so fierce and so desperate that soldiers resorted to hand to hand combat at times. But, in the end, Union troops led by General Sherman forced the Confederates to retreat. From here, Sherman began what is known as his March to the Sea.

This site is the first of 4 national military parks established to preserve civil war history. In the late 1800's, civil war veterans visited the battlefields and recounted the locations of certain battles. As a result, the park is a collection of monuments to those who fought and those that died.

The park is much less somber than others. While a few fields remain stark and barren, most are covered with granite monuments and markers which, in red and blue, tell the tales of those who fought here.

Perhaps its because of the monuments, markers and park employees recreating scenes of the war and telling stories, but the park lacks the somber feel you'd expect from a place set aside for memorializing and remembrance. Despite this, one cannot help but be impressed with the wealth of information collected and preserved here. After all, there were no photographs or video taken so historians had to record information from veterans by hand and to painstakingly document all that happened in this bloody chapter of the war that divided the nation so that we can remember and, equally as important, learn from what happened here.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The most documented military park.
  • Cons:Somewhat crowded and overwhelmed by monuments.
  • In a nutshell:A place rich in history and tragedy.
  • Last visit to Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park: Jul 2005
  • Intro Updated Aug 21, 2005
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Reviews (14)

Comments (1)

  • jadedmuse's Profile Photo
    Dec 19, 2005 at 6:49 PM

    What a poignant tribute to a fascinating historical place. What a great job you did, tks for taking the time to convey the feeling here, I am absolutely touched. Saddened, proud, wistful, and touched.

goingsolo

“"Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life."”

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