Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park Is This Week's National Park Getaway

Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - by Anton Heinlein
In the fall of 1863, bloody Civil War battles raged in the fields and woods of Chickamauga and on the slopes of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, part of a five-month campaign for control of Chattanooga—a key rail center and “Gateway to the Deep South.” 

These critical battles might be remembered only as a side note in American history if not for the courageous efforts of a small group of Union and Confederate veterans who waged their own fight to preserve these battlefields and honor those who fought here.
In 1890, their efforts paid off when Congress established Chickamauga and Chattanooga as the nation's first national military park.

Originally maintained by the War Department, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park was transferred to the National Park Service in 1933.

Two visitor centers orient visitors to the battlefields.

At Chickamauga Battlefield in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, the visitor center is open daily from 8:30 am to 5 pm. You can browse exhibits relating to the campaign and battle of Chickamauga, tour the Fuller Gun Collection, and watch the award-winning orientation film, “The Chattanooga Campaign–Death Knell of the Confederacy.” Be sure to obtain the park brochure containing a self-guided driving tour guide for the Chickamauga Battlefield and ask a ranger about the cell phone tour option. For added historical perspective, try one of the ranger-guided, car caravan tours. They take place every weekend throughout the year and daily between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

The Lookout Mountain Battlefield visitor center, atop Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. You'll find exhibits relating to the campaign and battles for Chattanooga, self-starting orientation programs, and the 13'x30' James Walker painting—“The Battle of Lookout Mountain.” You'll want to pick up the park brochure with the Point Park self-guided walking tour. Point Park, adjacent to the visitor center, offers excellent views of the Chattanooga area. Don't miss the ranger-guided walking tours to learn about the desperate fighting that took place on the slopes of the mountain in 1863.

While in Point Park, be sure to visit the Ochs Museum and Observatory. You'll find excellent exhibits about the Cracker Line, photography on Point Lookout, and Civil War signaling—a method of communication used heavily during the Chattanooga campaign. The observatory offers visitors a commanding view of the Tennessee River as it bends around Moccasin Point.

In 2013, commemorative events are scheduled from September through November to mark the 150th battle anniversaries. Visitors can take part in ranger-guided programs at Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, and Missionary Ridge battlefields. Living history programs include infantry and artillery demonstrations and musical performances.

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park's younger visitors can participate in the Junior Ranger and the Civil War Trading Card programs. Rangers at either visitor center can share the details.

Don't delay in planning your getaway to the Civil War's “Gateway” and America's first national military park.

Los Angeles’ Most Provocative Museums

London and Los Angeles are tied at 300 for having the most museums in the world. But London’s tend to be along the respectable lines of the Victoria and Albert (decorative arts), British Museum (historical artifacts), and the War Rooms (Churchill’s underground headquarters). L.A. has collections with very special interest appeal, such as those devoted to stuffed bunnies, neon art, ... (click for more)

Tennessee Aquarium's Biological Field Station Is Taking Shape

The Tennessee Aquarium's Biological Field Station is taking shape six months after groundbreaking. It is a part of the aquarium's Conservation Institute, The facility, located near the Baylor School campus, will be the hub for research and conservation programs of the institute, as well as a centralized location for collaborative projects with other scientists in the Southeast ... (click for more)

Baylor School Tennis Coach Charged With Buying Meth In Whitfield County, Ga.

A Baylor School tennis coach has been arrested on charges of buying meth in Whitfield County, Ga. Phillip Johnson, 51, of Ooltewah, was taken into custody on Thursday and charged with attempt or conspiracy to violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and use of a communication facilities during drug transactions. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Whiskey Company To Construct Large Distillery At Former Site Of Newton Chevrolet

The Chattanooga Whiskey Company has begun construction on a larger production distillery in the former Newton Chevrolet property at the corner of MLK Boulevard and Riverfront Parkway near the Tennessee River. Once fully operational, the Riverfront Parkway facility will be capable of producing upwards of 14 (53-gallon) barrels per day, making it one of the largest craft bourbon ... (click for more)

Judge Steelman Was Unfairly Criticized In Handling Of School Bus Driver Rape Case - And Response

We are blessed to have freedom of speech in our society, but I am always amazed at the number of folks who voice such strong antagonistic opinions about things without any apparent first-hand knowledge.   As any who wish to criticize the system should know, people get arrested and charged for criminal offenses every day.  The ultimate charge and penalty which results ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vote For Rhonda Thurman

After studying the Hamilton County School Board quite harshly during the last seven most-tumultuous months in its history, it is only proper that I share my belief that Rhonda is its Most Valuable Player. Four of the school board’s nine members are up for re-election, with Rhonda facing capable opponents in Jason Moses and Dr. Patti Skates in District 1, but let’s never forget that ... (click for more)