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.

Tennessee Aquarium Has Underwater Pumpkin Carving On Saturdays

Tennessee Aquarium guests can see underwater pumpkin carving demonstrations each Saturday at 11 a.m. throughout October in the River Journey building. Costumed SCUBA divers will make weekend appearances for the rest of the month.  Lots of costumed divers will be seen during the AquaScarium family Halloween Party at the Aquarium. Pirates, mermaids, and super heroes will be ... (click for more)

Ghostly Gathering At Historic Rugby Set For Oct. 22 And 29

Historic Rugby’s annual “Ghostly Gathering” celebration will take place on Oct. 22 and 29 (Saturdays) this year at 6 p.m. Eastern. The yearly Halloween-season celebration is a favorite among village visitors, who enjoy a homemade chili dinner with dessert at the Historic Rugby Community Building, followed by a ghost movie, then candle and oil lamp tours of several historic ... (click for more)

Domestic Assault Charge Dismissed Against Bobby Stone In Case Involving Mayor's Top Advisor; Stone Says Berke Had Inappropriate Relationship With His Wife; Says Berke And Fletcher Conspired To Arrest Him; Lacie Stone Says Charges Completely False

A charge of domestic assault was dismissed Friday morning against Bobby Stone in a case involving a top advisor to Mayor Andy Berke.  Afterward, Mr. Stone told reporters that the mayor had an inappropriate relationship with his wife, Lacie Stone. He also charged that Mayor Berke and Police Chief Fred Fletcher conspired to arrest him. Mr. Stone is expected to file ... (click for more)

Christopher Padgett Taken Into Custody

A Chattanooga man who went on the lam after cutting off his ankle monitor and failing to show up for the third day of his felony murder trial is back in custody. Christopher Padgett was arrested by Chattanooga Police in the 3200 block of South Street at 12:55 a.m.  He was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Hamilton County Jail for booking. ... (click for more)

Bobby Stone, Is It Really A Win?

It brought a smile to my face this morning when I saw where the case was thrown out of court against Mr. Stone and the domestic violence charge.  I have supported his cause from the beginning, but I do feel heartbreak because his personal life had to be tossed out there for all of us to see.   I truly hope and pray things turn around for him and his wife, while I feel ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Kelly Could Win It

I am neither a sleuth nor an odds maker but I’d say there is about a one-in-three chance that Interim Hamilton County Department of Education Superintendent Kirk Kelly could become the permanent superintendent of our public schools next Thursday. I am assured something squirrelly is happening on our newly-seated school board. It has been seven months since the last superintendent ... (click for more)