First New Parkland To Be Set Aside At Historic Missionary Ridge In Many Decades

Monday, March 10, 2014

The first new parkland in many decades is set to be set aside soon at the site of the historic Civil War fighting at Missionary Ridge.

Rick Wood, director of the Chattanooga office of the Trust for Public Land, said 27 acres near the old Missionary Ridge railroad tunnel will be held initially by the Tennessee Historic Commission.

Mr. Wood said, "This site is sloped land that is incredibly important in connection with the fighting on Missionary Ridge in 1863 between the Confederate and Union forces."

He said tracts are being purchased from Carrington Montague of Lookout Mountain, who has long been active in historic preservation, and from the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. The TVRM still operates train service through the tunnel that dates to the late 1840s.

The TVRM recently assembled some of the land. 

The City Council on March 18 is set to consider an ordinance for the city "to act as a government sponsor and pass-through entity for a grant from the American Battlefield Protection Program, a part of the National Park Service, to be passed through to the Trust for Public Land, which will purchase and preserve two tracts of land which are part of the Missionary Ridge Battlefield, for an amount not to exceed $950,000."

Mr. Wood said the tracts will not become part of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park at this time because Congress has not yet authorized any extension of its boundaries on Missionary Ridge.

"In the future, that would be the goal," he said.

The park service currently has several small reservations, as well as the larger Sherman Reservation, near Crest Road on Missionary Ridge.

Mr. Wood said the state, the American Battlefield Protection Program and the Civil War Trust combined to make the new parkland possible.

Jim Ogden, chief historian for Chickamauga Battlefield, said the site is on the slopes below North Crest Road near the railroad tunnel where there was significant fighting.

He said General Patrick Cleburne's forces were seeking to hold Tunnel Hill from approaching Union forces. He said some of the Federals used the cover of the railroad embankment during the fighting.

He said the site also includes portions of the next unnamed hill to the south. He said a Confederate artillery unit was on the hill.

16,858 Cast Ballots In First 3 Days Of Early Voting In Hamilton County

In the first three days of early voting in Hamilton County, 16,858 have already cast ballots. That includes 1,607 ballots received by mail. There were 5,157 who turned out at early voting sites on Wednesday and 5,083 on Thursday. The total on Friday was 5,011. Sites: Brainerd 1,084, 1080, 1,030 Election Office 1,848, 1,731, 1,698 Collegedale 956, 954, ... (click for more)

Clarence Ross, Leshawn Witherow Shot On Walden Avenue Friday Afternoon

Chattanooga Police are investigating a shooting that happened early Friday afternoon at the 6300 block of Walden Avenue.  Clarence Ross, 41, And Leshawn Witherow, 40, suffered non-life threatening injuries.  Hamilton County EMS transported both victims to a local hospital for treatment.  There is no suspect information at this time.  Investigators with ... (click for more)

Please, No Short Term Vacation Rentals In My Neighborhood

Approval of the short term vacation rental item on the City Council agenda for Tuesday  will be the next step toward commercializing our residential properties and communities to benefit those more interested in making money than preserving an old, well-established, rich community of like-minded families.    Anything requiring a business license is ... (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)

UTC Defeats VMI, 30-13; Mocs Seniors Gain 34th Career Win

UTC junior running back Richardre Bagley rushed for a career-high 189 yards and two touchdowns to lead the host Mocs to a 30-13 Southern Conference win against VMI at Finley Stadium before 10, 505 fans. "It's a huge confidence booster," Bagley said. "All credit goes to our great offensive line and receivers blocking down field. The coaches did a great job preparing us. Everyone ... (click for more)

Goetz Outlasts Huwe To Win Signal Mountain Pie Run

The annual Signal Mountain Pie Run is one of those races where you don’t have to be the first across the finish line to be the overall winner. It’s a prediction run, so the runner getting nearest his or her predicted time was honored with cash prizes. Gregg Sutton crossed the line next to the old Signal Mountain Junior High with a time of 46 minutes flat, which was exactly ... (click for more)