"Churches Under Siege: Chattanooga 1863" Program Led By Jim Ogden

Thursday, October 24, 2013 - by Ruth Robinson
Jim Ogden, an acclaimed Civil War historian and ranger at Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park, captured and held the attention of a large crowd at St. Paul's Episcopal Church Wednesday evening, where he was the featured speaker for "Churches Under Siege: Chattanooga 1863." Also sharing the program were six people representing the six churches in Chattanooga in 1863, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic, Episcopal and Cumberland Presbyterian, who told of the experiences of their church in wartime.
The program, one of several in observance of the 150 year celebration of the Civil War, was organized by Jim Frierson of St. Paul's.
Mr. Ogden began his talk with background about Chattanooga in 1863. Early in that year, Chattanooga was occupied by Confederates. Much of the community effort was involved in providing hospital care for an expected influx of  wounded. Hospitals were created, including a 500-bed hospital on the side of Cameron Hill.
The eyes of the nation were focused on Chattanooga, Mr. Ogden said, because both North and South recognized it was important as the gateway of supplies to both armies. Chattanooga and its churches became a front line when Union cannon fire bombarded the town while residents were gathered at the Presbyterian Church for prayer. Most of the residents left with few members  left for the churches.
A drought, which had left the unpaved street in dust, was broken in September and the street became mud. On Sept. 9, the Union occupied Chattanooga and began immediately to prepare for an anticipated 4,000 wounded. The town was flooded with military uniforms and equipment and the churches were taken over by the military for hospitals or war equipment storage. Most sustained extensive damage.
On Sept. 20, a flood of wounded filled the town with wounded from the battle at Chickamauga. In addition to churches and buildings and the hospital on Cameron Hill, there was also a tent hospital. As many as possible were quickly moved out of  Chattanooga to make way for the incoming injured.
In October, with the arrival of U.S. Grant in Chattanooga, he redeemed the situation of the Union. He organized the effort which broke the stranglehold held by Confederates on the town and was able to turn the tide in Chattanooga.
As the war moved on and the hospitals were cleared with only 800 downtown, some of the churches were then used to store military guns. It was, Mr. Ogden said, "homage to the gods of war, rather than the God of the churches."

Bob Tamasy: Peace - Pursuing The Elusive

Peace. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Seems peaceful just to say the word. “Peace” – aaaahhhh! If only finding and experiencing peace were so easy, right? When was the last time you truly felt at peace? Maybe you’re an easygoing, glass-is-half-full type of person that’s seldom ruffled. If so, congratulations. Your “peace meter” probably registers a lot higher on the scale than for ... (click for more)

First Presbyterian Christmas Concert Will Be Dec. 3, 4

The First Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga adult choir, soloists and Tabernacle Praise Orchestra presents the annual Christmas concerts on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 4 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 4 at 3 p.m. in the sanctuary of FPC. The concerts will be conducted by Kelly Stultz, Glenn Draper and student conductor Laura Neff, and will include an opening set of well-loved Christmas favorites, ... (click for more)

Howard Simmons, 47, Shot And Killed In St. Elmo Monday Morning; Police Interview Person Of Interest

Howard Simmons, 47, was shot and killed in St. Elmo Monday morning. Police said they had interviewed a person of interest in the slaying. Chattanooga Police at 8:30 a.m. responded to a person shot at the 5000 block of Florida Ave. Upon police arrival the victim, Simmons, had already succumbed to his injuries. Ms. Simmons suffered at least one gunshot wound. At this time ... (click for more)

Erlanger To Open Cancer Center On Gunbarrel Road At East Campus

Work is set to begin soon on construction of a new Cancer Center by Erlanger Health System at its Gunbarrel Road East Campus. Erlanger is joining with a development firm, Chatt East 3 LLC of Alabama, on the four-story project located just south of Women's East Hospital on a wooded five-acre tract. Erlanger will be leasing the bottom three floors at a rate of $16.05 per square ... (click for more)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Picture a sold-out baseball game at Wrigley Field or Nationals Park packed with 40,000 fans. That image represents roughly the same number of women and men who die from breast cancer each year.  In Tennessee alone, an estimated 900 women will die from the disease in 2016. It is a sad statistic, but there is some good news: thanks to early detection and improved treatments, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Testerman Forum

I badly misjudged how long it would take me to do my “early voting.” I was in-and-out in no time so I got to the Hamilton County School Board’s agenda meeting well enough beforehand to have an “educational forum” with board member David Testerman. If you haven’t noticed, forums and summits and “community enlightenment” groups are the new rage and, as my friend David laughed, “They ... (click for more)