This tower is one of the many memorials that fill the expansive Chickamauga Battle Field. Traveling south with our friends the Elliotts, we thought we would make a quick stop at the visitors center and drive through the battle field park to learn about the story of this what happened here during the War Between the States.
There was no just stopping, this expansive field the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park covers a battle that took place September 18-20, 1863. the battle marked the end of a Union offensive in southeastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia. Filled with cannons and monuments, trails and more, a visitor could easily spend a day or more. You can take a driving tour or even hire a guide to explain the tour. Cannons etc. are have been placed where they would have during this ferocious battle that raged for days.
This was an important battle because control of Chattanooga was considered the “Gateway to the Deep South”. While the Confederates were victorious here at Chickamauga in September, the tide turned when the Union gained control of Chattanooga in November. One Confederate solider wrote, “This…is the death-knell of the Confederacy”.
The Visitors Center offered a film, insight into the battle and an amazing gun collection for those interested in arms. If nothing else, this stop was a reminder that our country was once torn apart by racial divide, economic strife and differences that were not resolved except through a lot of blood loss. While we moved on and headed for less emotional stops, the memory of those on both sides that fought and died has remained in the monuments erected many years after the battle and in my own mind.
If you travel near Fort Oglethorpe, GA, take the time to see a bit of history, it is a true reminder that our freedom truly is not and was not free.