"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."

Reverend Craig Paul Will Be Guest Speaker At Middle Valley Church Of God On Sunday

Reverend Craig Paul will be the special guest speaker in the 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday at Middle Valley Church of God.  Reverend Paul will preach on the topic, 'Who Do You Think You Are?'  His sermon will focus on a person's identity being found in the person of the Lord,Jesus Christ.   The church invites all to attend this service and participate in the ministry ... (click for more)

Women Moving Forward Seminar This Saturday At Second Missionary Baptist

Second Missionary Baptist Church will be holding a Women Moving Forward Seminar on Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for their 69th  Annual Women's Day Celebration. The event is free but participants will need to register by calling the church office at 423-624-3275. The sessions available will be Grief & Healing, Caregiving, Christian Parenting, Health & Healthy Choices ... (click for more)

Youth Pleads Guilty In 2011 Club Fathom Shootings; Rakestraw Gets 3 Years In Prison

A teen who was 15 at the time nine people were shot outside Club Fathom downtown on Christmas Eve 2011 pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated assault on Tuesday. Brandon Lebron Rakestraw, who is now 18, appeared before Criminal Court Judge Don Poole. He received a three-year prison term to serve. Rakestraw has been in jail for 10 months. Prosecutor Jason Demastus ... (click for more)

Over 2,500 Athletes, Plus Thousands Of Fans And Supporters, Set For Chattanooga, North Georgia For Sunday's Ironman Event

Over 2,500 athletes, along with thousands more of fans and supporters, will be in Chattanooga and North Georgia for Sunday's Ironman competition. The competitors will first swim 2.4 miles in the Tennessee River before biking 112 miles (56 miles each way) and running a 26.2-mile (two and a half loops downtown, the Southside and the North Shore) marathon. The bicycle course ... (click for more)

Congrats To Super Citizen Helen Burns Sharp - And Response

Congratulations to super-citizen Helen Burns Sharp on both her initial IDB lawsuit and on Chancellor Fleenor's ruling.  Also, I wish her well on her current action. It's a shame that a private citizen such as Ms. Sharp has to invest so much time and money to keep a government agency honest.  Three cheers and thumbs up.  I thank her.  R.J. Johnson  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Apollos Hester’s Way

East View High was trailing at halftime by a pair of touchdowns in last Friday night’s game against unbeaten Vandegrift. But the players at the Georgetown, Texas, school each have a sticker on the back of their helmets that says “TPW” which is a constant reminder that “Tough People Win.” Then there is “attitude” and that is where running back Apollos Hester steps in. In what ... (click for more)