On November 25, 1863, more than 50,000 Union soldiers stormed the Confederate defenses along Missionary Ridge east of Chattanooga. The attack stretched from the Rossville Gap at the Georgia border all the way up to Tunnel Hill at the northern end of Missionary Ridge. By the end of the day the Confederate Army of Tennessee was retreating towards Dalton, Georgia and Chattanooga was firmly in Union hands. It was, as one Confederate officer later described it, "The death knell of the Confederacy."
Along the crest of Missionary Ridge are a series of eight reservations and monuments that preserve and tell the story of key areas of the Battle of Missionary Ridge. Most of these reservations and monuments are located in residential neighborhoods along a narrow road at the crest of the ridge. Several tablets and cannon are located on private property in residents' yards. Please be respectful of these residents, and do not block or park in private driveways, or enter private property without the owner's consent.
Iowa Reservation at Rossville
Located in the Rossville Gap just three miles north of Chickamauga Battlefield, the Iowa Monument is the southernmost reservation of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park on Missionary Ridge. During the battle Union troops from General Joseph Hooker's command, fresh off their victory at Lookout Mountain the day before, attacked the southern flank of the Confederate positions just north of here. But it was other Union soldiers who would leave their permanent mark on the landscape. After the Battle of Missionary Ridge, thousands of Iowans celebrated their victory with a grand review through the Rossville Gap. Although these men did not fight in the gap during the battle, their fond memories of the celebratory march inspired them to place a large monument at the site. The monument is located at the intersection of Highway 27 and West Crest Road in Rossville, Georgia.
On South Crest Road, just a few miles north of the Iowa Monument at Rossville, is the Bragg Reservation. This reservation preserves the location of Confederate General Braxton Bragg's headquarters during the Battle of Missionary Ridge. This area is where General George Thomas's Army of the Cumberland broke the center of the Confederate line on Missionary Ridge.There is a small parking at the Bragg Reservation, which consists of several cannon and tablets. The largest feature here is the Illinois Monument.
On South Crest Road just north of the Bragg Reservation is the Ohio Reservation. It was here that the Union soldiers of Thomas Wood's Division of IV Corps attacked Missionary Ridge. Among these men where many Ohioans. After the war, Ohio erected a large monument to the men that fought here. In 2014, middle schoolers from Reynoldsburg, Ohio raised the money necessary to repair drummer boy statue on this Ohio Monument, which had been damaged years before. The monument is located in between several private homes. Please park only in designated areas and do not walk onto private property.
By the time General John Turchin led his troops up the slope of Missionary Ridge, he was an experienced soldier. Born in Russia, Turchin was educated at the Imperial Military Academy in St. Petersburg, and served several years in the Russian Army throughout Europe before immigrating to the United States. Defending this area against Turchin's men were Arthur Manigault's Alabamians and South Carolinians. There is a tablet and two cannon at the Turchin Reservation. Be aware that there is no public parking here and North Crest Road is is too narrow to park on the side of the road at this location. To park turn down a side street, or park at DeLong Reservation and walk back. Do not block or park in private driveways.
At DeLong Reservation on North Crest Road, just north of the Turchin Reservation, is a monument to the 2nd Minnesota Infantry that fought at this area. In addition to the 2nd Minnesota Monument are several tablets and cannon.
Colonel Edward Phelps personally led his brigade up the slope of Missionary Ridge. Just as he reached the crest, he was struck and killed by a Confederate bullet at this spot. The monument is an upward facing cannon. There is no parking at this location. Please do not block or park in private driveways.
73rd Pennsylvania Reservation
While Union forces were largely successful in their attacks along Missionary Ridge, the Confederacy held the upper hand along the ridge's northern hills. The 73rd Pennsylvania suffered mightily during the engagement. These men, part General Oliver Howard's XI Corps, were veterans of many of the major engagements of the eastern theater of war, having fought at Second Manassas, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. As they charged Confederate rifle pits in the hills at the north end of Missionary Ridge in Chattanooga, the unit was cut off from the rest of the brigade. As a result, nearly the entire regiment was killed, wounded, or captured. Only twenty five men avoided capture. Today there is a monument to the 73rd Pennsylvania, as well as several tablets explaining the military operations in the area. The 73rd Pennsylvania Monument is located at the intersection of Glass Street and Campbell Street just off of North Crest Road. There is no parking at this location. To visit either park in a public space in the commercial area of Glass Street and walk, or park at the Sherman Reservation and hike down a short trail that connects the Sherman Reservation and the 73rd Pennsylvania Reservation.
Located at the northern end of North Crest Road is the Sherman Reservation. At fifty acres, this is the largest of the reservations on Missionary Ridge, and preserves the area where General William T. Sherman's troops assaulted the Confederate defenses on Tunnel Hill. General Patrick Cleburne successfully fended off Sherman's men, but was eventually forced to retreat as the rest of the Confederate Army retreated eastward off of Missionary Ridge. There is a small parking area at the intersection of Lightfoot Mill Road and North Crest Road. A small trail leads into the reservation, which contains several monuments, tablets, and cannon. There is also a connector trail allowing visitors to hike between the Sherman Reservation and the 73rd Pennsylvania Reservation down the hill along Glass Street.
The New York Monument at Ringgold Gap, Georgia
Twenty miles east of Chickamauga Battlefield and tucked away next to the Ringgold Wastewater Treatment Plant is a monument erected by the state of New York. In the aftermath of the Battle of Missionary Ridge, the Confederates retreated south with the Union Army in close pursuit. On November 27, 1863, a small Confederate force under the command of General Patrick Cleburne made a stand at Ringgold Gap.
Despite being vastly outnumbered, they inflicted tremendous casualties on the Union forces, many of whom were from New York. The Confederate victory gave the army enough time to retreat and reorganize in preparation for the summer campaign in Georgia. This small monument is dedicated to those New Yorkers who fought and died in this valley. It is located at the south end of Depot Street in Ringgold, Georgia.
Last updated: October 31, 2018