On Saturday, March 2, at 2 pm, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park will conduct a special one-hour program focusing on Spanish contact in the Southeastern United States, specifically in the Chattanooga region.
This is a free program and will take place at the Gateway Site, near 134 Hamm Road, in Moccasin Bend National Archeological District. Special Program signs will be also be placed along Manufacturers and Hamm Roads to assist participants to the program location.
Sometimes our reasons for doing certain things are not always what they seem.
In 1540, the first Europeans made contact with the indigenous people living in today’s greater Chattanooga area. That contact did not seem like such a bad thing at first. Unfortunately, Hernando de Soto led the Spanish conquistadors making this contact, and he was not there as a friendly envoy from the king of Spain. Soto was after something far more self-serving: gold and glory. Years before, as a member of Francisco Pizarro’s expedition in Peru, Soto helped capture and ransom the Incan Emporer Atahualpa. The vast riches he witnessed in Peru pushed Soto on a similar expedition into the Southeast. Come learn about the atrocities spread by these Spanish “conquerors” as they trekked through this region almost 480 years ago.
For more information about programs at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, contact the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at 706-866-9241, the Lookout Mountain Battlefield Visitor Center at 423-821-7786, or visit the park website at www.nps.gov/chch.