The Chattanooga Civil War Round Table will hold its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, July 17, 2012. The meeting is at 7 p.m. and will be held this month (only) at the Silverdale Confederate Cemetery on Lee Highway just north of Bonny Oaks at I-75 Exit 7. The history of the cemetery, established 150 years ago this summer, is the subject of the meeting. Cemetery Historian Jerry Wormsley is the speaker. The meeting is free and open to the public. Bring a chair.
"...I hope and confidently expect that Bragg will move forward until the Yankees are made to feel in their own lines and firesides the horrors of war...."
So South Carolinian C. Irvine Walker said of the purpose and expectation assigned to the relocation of the Army of the Mississippi in the latter days of July 150 years ago. Shift from the western portion of the great dagger their enemy had driven through the Volunteer State to its eastern side and then, having seized the initiative, thrust decisively toward "their own lines and firesides."
This move by Braxton Bragg from Northeastern Mississippi brought the first true army of the Southern Confederacy to Chattanooga. In that hot and increasingly dry summer of 1862, it brought more than 30,000 still seasoning Southern soldiers to an area, as if any ever were, ill-prepared for the several large town equivalents suddenly plopped down in their midst.
Chattanooga itself, Rossville, Wauhatchie, Chickamauga Station, and Tyner all were suddenly descended upon, for a few days or a couple of weeks. And some would never leave. It is the story of the effects of the sudden appearance of the men of the Army of the Mississippi in the Chattanooga region and that of those who stayed that is the focus of our meeting tonight.
Round Table member, Historian, and Silverdale Confederate Cemetery advocate Jerry Wormsley will be our speaker and host tonight for our meeting at that historic cemetery that 150 years ago this month was on the verge of being born. Jerry and members of the Chattanooga Area Relic and Historical Association have respectfully cared for the Silverdale Confederate Cemetery now for decades and Jerry continues his research into its history in an effort to identify the souls who lie within its walls.
Come out and learn about this piece of the story of 150 years ago of the war coming home to Chattanooga.
Directions--Travel on I-75 to the Bonny Oaks Exit, Exit 7. Exit I-75 to head west on Bonny Oaks. Just west of I-75, just west of the I-75-Bonny Oaks interchange, turn right or north on Lee Highway. Just a short distance to the north on the right side of Lee Highway you'll see the Tennessee Highway Historical Marker for the Cemetery and the Cemetery entrance arch. Just beyond the entrance arch on the right is Thunder Creek Harley Davidson, 7720 Lee Highway. Turn into the parking lot and stay to the right or south side of the lot. Find a place to park and look for the gap in the fence to walk through to the Cemetery.