Tennessee September 22, 2018
This Historic Park Is One Of Tennessee’s Best Kept Secrets
If you’ve ever visited a southern battlefield, then you know it’s a pretty humbling experience. The south is infused with a dark and important part of American history, and with so much of the Civil War scattered across Tennessee soil, it’s not difficult to learn about the dark curves and hidden stories tucked within our nation’s history. Recently, we visited the Chickamauga Battlefield, figured to be haunted by some, and we simply had to share.
The Battle of Chickamauga is well known as one of the largest Confederate victories in the Civil War, despite the large loss of life. It ranks only behind Gettysburg as the second deadliest battle fought during the War Between the States.
The battle was fought from September 18th to the 20th, 1863, and marked the end of the Union offensive known as the Chickamauga Campaign. It was fought mainly in Georgia, although the following Battle of Chattanooga bled into Tennessee.
Union troops experienced one of the costliest battles fought in the Civil War's western theater at Chickamauga, losing a reported 16,000 men by its end. Confederates, however, lost a heartbreaking 18,454.
An interesting fact about Chickamauga: Union-owned repeating rifles were used on the battlefield, firing off a historically whopping 14 rounds per minute. Before the use of the new sophisticated rifles, most men could get two to three shots per minute.
But wait, you may be asking - isn't Chickamauga in Georgia?! Yes, yes it is. However, the Battle of Chattanooga was fought just after the Georgia-based battle, and the National Park actually encompasses both at the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, Georgia, Tennessee.
There's a broad range of both guided and self-guided tours throughout the historic park, as well as streaks of hiking trails that take you far and above the gorgeous, if haunted, place.
The park exists to preserve and protect southern history for the next generation, and it tells its shared story well. Both Georgia and Tennessee have claimed ownership and have fought to preserve not only the history of the battlefield, but the Native American presence that stretches back 12,000 years into the area's history.
This year is the 155th Anniversary of the Battle of Chickamauga-Chattanooga, and from September 18th to the 20th there are special events and programs hosted by the park itself.
Have you been? Would you go? This historic space may be hotly debated in recent days, but we think it's an important part of our shared state history to remember, and to never repeat.
Continue to explore the beauty of the state with
this incredible canyon hike that’s downright stunning.