Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Chickamauga Battlefield National Military Park, Lake Ogelthorpe, Georgia

Copyright 2014, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

During the week we stayed in the Chattanooga area on our way home this spring we visited the Chickamauga Battlefield twice.

The first four national military parks in the United States were: Chickamauga and Chattanooga, Shiloh, Gettysburg and Vicksburg.  The model, for most national military and historical parks, per the park brochure, was Chickamauga and Chattanooga.

What struck me, and probably most visitors is the number of monuments and memorials.  According to the web site for the park, "There are 705 commemorative features including monuments, markers, and tablets, spread across the units of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. Veterans began marking the battlefields in 1894 and the last commemorative feature was added in 1976."  I will confess to being confused over the number of monuments, as I have also seen several references to there being 1400 on the grounds.

As you travel down the main road, one monument after another.  I believe this row marks the Georgia regiments.

Large, smaller, one monument after another.  Many are well over 8 foot tall.  This is to honor the 10th Wisconsin Infantry.

Close up:

Near Snodgrass Hill, the Snodgrass cabin served as a field hospital after the battle.

The first visit we paid to the battlefield we happened to be there just before one of the rangers took out a guided"driving" tour of the battlefield.  We were able to join in.  It was a gray, damp, spitting rain type of day, so, having a guided tour suited us.  The ranger was a true Civil War buff, and was a delight to listen to.  Now, Carol rarely understands much about war and fronts, and left or right flanks, or whatever, so, of course, I remember almost nothing.  What I do remember was how this ranger related the battles and the affects they had on the local residents. He told one story about a widow.  He stopped and asked us, "How old do you think this widow was?"  Of course, many answers were 45, or 60.  You know, sorta old.  "No, she was 23."  That puts a different light on the word, widow, doesn't it?

This monument on Snograss Hill is dedicated to the Michigan 11th Regiment Infantry Volunteers.

Lieut. Col. Melvin Mudge from the Michigan 11th. from the monument above:

This is the 2nd Regiment Minnesota Veteran Volunteer Infantry memorial, erected 1893.  The dogwoods were at peak bloom.


15th US Infantry:

I believe the furthest left monument is for Battery M, Fourth U.S. Artillery 3rd Brigade 2nd Division 21st Corps.

Georgia Monument, the tallest in the park, according to one source I found.

This panoramic shows a field full of memorials and monuments at Viniard Field. Man is standing beside the one on the far left.  You can see, many of these memorials are quite large.

The memorial in the back ground is for the 13th Michigan Regiment of Infantry.

The second trip to the battlefield Man and I drove around, visiting some of the areas we did not see during the guided car tour.

The battlefield is a very poignant place to visit.  The wind whispers messages, if you could only hear them, from the many souls lost here.   It was quite overwhelming, and two visits were not enough to see it all.

*  There is a cell phone tour available.  There are 8 stops in the park that correspond to 8 informational recordings.  The main phone number is 1-585-672-2619.  The 8 stops are shown on the map in the brochure we were given at the Visitors center.  I have not yet found that map online.  But, you can still call the number and listen to the 8 recordings.  For Civil War buffs, you may not need the maps!

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