Carpetbaggers Wanted! Reconstruction in Chattanooga

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Date: July 5, 2016
Contact: Kim Coons, 423-752-5213x139

Lookout Mountain, TN: Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park invites the public to attend a series of special, 30 minute programs on Saturday, July 16 and on Sunday, July 17 at Cravens House, a structure dating to the Reconstruction period, on Lookout Mountain. These programs will explore how white Chattanoogans, Freedmen, and northern emigrants rebuilt the scenic city during Reconstruction. There are no admission fees for the programs at Cravens House.

In 1868, Chattanoogans ran a newspaper advertisement: "WANTED IMMEDIATELY ANY NUMBER OF CARPET-BAGGERS TO COME TO CHATTANOOGA AND SETTLE." At the end of the Civil War, people throughout the south struggled to rebuild their lives and their communities. Chattanooga's leaders turned to a surprising place for growth –northern "carpetbaggers." The influx of northerners, like former Union General John Wilder, primed the economic engine of the city and thousands of Freedmen and white southerners found work in the growing urban economy.

The weekend program schedule is as follows:

Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17

10 am: "A New City: Union Veterans and the Rebuilding of Chattanooga"

Explore the role that Union veterans, including the United States Colored Troops, played in rebuilding Chattanooga after the Civil War.

2 pm:"An Unending War: Racial and Political Violence around Chattanooga During Reconstruction." Violence around the country continued long after the armies surrendered. This program will examine the history and legacy of this violence and tension and Chattanooga.

3 pm: "Robert Cravens: Rebuilding a Home and an Industry"

Robert Cravens rebuilt his home on Lookout Mountain in the year following the Civil War. Learn how the Cravens family met the challenges of Reconstruction as you tour their rebuilt home.

For more information about programs at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, contact the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at (706) 866-9241 or the Lookout Mountain Battlefield Visitor Center at (423) 821-7786.

Last updated: July 8, 2016

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

3370 LaFayette Road
Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742


(706) 866-9241

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