New Bus Tour Offers Fun, Educational Way To Understand The Historic Battle Of Chattanooga

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Chattanooga residents, visitors, educators and others seeking to understand the historic Civil War Battle of Chattanooga now have a new opportunity. Urban Battle Tours, an organization dedicated to preserving the memory of historic battles now masked by urban settings, has created a fun and educational bus tour to explore and understand this important battle.  This year marks the 150th anniversary of the battle, which was fought Nov. 23-25, 1863.

The 90-minute bus tour begins with a brief history of Chattanooga’s founding and its important role and strategic location during the Civil War.  Key events of the war up to 1863 are provided, as well as the strategic goals of both armies and their leaders.  The route takes participants by several state historical markers and monuments.  Participants will also see historic Orchard Knob, the Bragg Reservation on Missionary Ridge and Chattanooga’s National Cemetery where more than 12,000 Union soldiers are buried. 

“The Battle of Chattanooga was a critical event during the Civil War.  Unfortunately most of the battlefield where thousands of Americans desperately fought and died has been paved over by the passing of time and urban development,” said Urban Battle Tours President Matt Spaulding.  “Gettysburg, Antietam and other historic battlefields are national treasures.  We hope that by some small measure our tours, like those at National Military Parks, will keep the memory of these urban battles alive. It’s important to honor those Americans who sacrificed in defense of their country while also putting the battle into a larger context.”

Upcoming tour dates are set for Saturday, May 4, and Saturday, June 1.  Both tours will begin at 10 a.m. The starting point will be at 503 Market Street, the corner of Market and 5th streets in downtown Chattanooga at the Chattanooga Ducks Parking Lot.  Ticket prices are $30 for adults and $25 for seniors, military and children ages three to 12. Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.urbanbattletours.com or onsite the day of each tour. However, space is limited, so reservations are on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Public parking is available near the tour’s starting point.

The bus tours are being offered in partnership with Chattanooga Double Decker, one of the city’s preeminent touring companies that employs a vintage 1960 British double-decker touring bus.   More dates and times will be added for July and August.

The Battle of Chattanooga, primarily fought Nov. 24 and 25, 1863, was a crushing defeat for the Confederates and a strategically important victory for the Union.  Union General U.S. Grant and his men, under siege in Chattanooga for two months following their loss at the nearby Battle of Chickamauga, forced the out-manned rebels from their advantageous positions on Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge.  The victory propelled Grant to command of all Union forces and opened up the Deep South to invasion by Grant’s friend and colleague General William T. Sherman.

Urban Battle Tours offers a fun, unique and educational way to explore historic American battles that have been “lost” over time through urban development.  Because the battlefields are now paved roads, neighborhoods or commercial districts, our primary goal is preserving the memory of these battles, the men who fought them and the important roles they played in the history of our country.  We offer tours for the general public, as well as specially customized tours for large groups and educators.  Urban Battle Tours currently conducts tours for the Civil War battles in Atlanta and Chattanooga.  For more information, please visitwww.urbanbattletours.com


UT McClung Museum Receives Large Gift of Rare Maps

Almost 200 rare maps of Europe and other parts of the world created between the 1500s and 1800s now belong to UT. The UT McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture recently received the large gift from private donors. Twenty of the maps are currently on display in the Burchfiel Geography Building. These, and the other maps housed in the museum’s collections, will be ... (click for more)

Songwriter Thomas Mosie Lister Dies

Songwriter Thomas Mosie Lister died last week on Feb. 12.  He was 93. Earl Freudenberg said of Mr. Lister, "We became good friends by telephone.  He told me h e drove a small car, but when Elvis recorded 'His Hand in Mine' and it sold several millions he got him a big car."  He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy serving during World War II. Rev. Lister ... (click for more)

Judge Orders Cortez Sims Tried As Adult After Emotional Testimony At Juvenile Court In Shooting Of 4

Juvenile Court Judge Rob Philyaw on Thursday morning ordered that 17-year-old Cortez Sims be tried as an adult in a College Hill Courts shooting that left one woman dead, a toddler paralyzed, and two others wounded. The order was given after emotional testimony from two of the victims in the Jan. 7 early morning mass shooting at 773 W. Main St. Bianca Horton and Marcell "Baby ... (click for more)

County School Bus Driver Alexander Rodriquez Charged With Raping 15-Year-Old Student

A county school bus driver has been charged with raping a 15-year-old student.   Alexander Rodriguez, 34, of Dusty Trail, Ooltewah, was being held on $350,000 bond.   The sheriff's office said it got a report at 9:30 p.m. of a missing juvenile, who was last seen boarding a school bus at Sale Creek High School that afternoon.    ... (click for more)

The Middle Valley Walmart Makes No Sense

There has been quite a bit of hoopla over the proposed new Walmart grocery store in Middle Valley.  Since my family has lived in Middle Valley in a home they built by hand way back in 1954 and said house is now housing generations 3, 4 and 5 I feel that I can give my opinion based on nothing more than life experience.    When this house was built there was a gravel ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Father Kelly’s ‘Hallelujah’

Last April, in the special way that only some older men are lucky enough to possess, the childish imp came out in Father Ray Kelly. A parish priest in Oldcastle, Ireland, he was conducting wedding vows for a handsome couple when the 62-year-old decided to surprise them with a totally-unscripted rendition of Leonard Cohen’s beautiful song, “Hallelujah.” When he did, there soon ... (click for more)