151st Anniversary of the Battle of Chickamauga

Thursday, September 18

Wilder and the Lightning Brigade-4 pm

Colonel John Wilder and his elite fighting unit, “The Lightning Brigade,” was heavily involved in one of the opening actions of the Battle of Chickamauga. Faced with overwhelming odds, the men of Wilder’s detachment used the Spencer Repeating Rifles to their advantage, which proved to be a great equalizer along the banks of the Chickamauga Creek.

This 1-hour tour with Park Guide Lee White will begin at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center and will car caravan to other areas of the park.

Friday, September 19

Ambrose Bierce’s Chickamauga: The Memoir and the Short Story-2:30 pm

Ambrose Bierce, a noted American writer of the late 19th Century, was also a veteran of the Battle of Chickamauga. After the war, he composed a memoir of his Civil War experience at Chickamauga, as well as a fictional short story, "Chickamauga."

Meet Park Ranger Anton Heinlein at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center for a 90-minute car caravan tour to sites connected with Ambrose Bierce to learn about his memoir and short story, and the meaning(s) associated with Bierce's writings.

Like Driftwood in a Squall-A. P. Stewart’s Breakthrough-4 pm

On the afternoon of September 19, 1863, General A.P. Stewart’s “Little Giant” Division came close to tearing the Union Army in half in some of the fiercest fighting of the Battle of Chickamauga.

Join Park Guide Lee White for this 2-hour walking tour that will begin at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center and then car caravan onto the Battlefield.

The Night Attack-6:30 pm

As day turned to night and the sounds of battle receded from the farms and forests, small arms and cannon fire suddenly erupted on the north end of the battlefield. Confederate soldiers commanded by Major General Patrick Cleburne swept forward in a final effort on September 19, 1863, to turn the Union flank and force it south, away from Chattanooga. As a result of the smoke from the day's battle and the increasing darkness, Cleburne's assault quickly deteriorated into chaos.

Join Historian Jim Ogden for a 2-hour look at the twilight and night fighting in and around Winfrey Field. This program will begin at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center and then car caravan onto the Battlefield for the approximately 1 1/2 mile walk.

Saturday, September 20

Living History Programs

Park rangers and living historians will be staged at various areas in Chickamauga Battlefield portraying potential scenarios that occurred here in 1864. All programs will be continuous throughout the day with no formal beginning or ending times.

1) At the Dyer House Site, a group of Union soldiers will be portraying a burial detail removing the bodies of their fallen comrades to the cemetery in Chattanooga .

2) Union soldiers stationed in Dyer Field, near the location of the South Carolina Monument, will portray the men of Sherman’s army that passed through the battlefield on their way to Atlanta and will discuss the importance of communication in the army.

3) Civilians at Snodgrass Hill (Tour Stop 8) will educate visitors about the families that came back to the area to try and renew their lives after the horrific battle in 1863.

4) At the top of Horseshoe Ridge, visitors will meet “Confederate” guerillas who might have operated in the area in 1864, coming to blows with the local citizenry and Union soldiers alike.

The Vice President Attacks the Left-9 am

Just 2 1/2 years out of office as Vice President of the United States, John C. Breckinridge led Confederates in the opening attack on the final day of the Battle of Chickamauga. This attack, on September 20, could have been the decisive attack on the Union left had it succeeded.

This 2-hour, 2-mile walking tour with Historian Jim Ogden will begin and end at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center.

Little Phil’s Fight on the 20th-12:30 pm

They were the far right infantry division of Rosecrans’ army on the morning of September 20. And then orders came directing them to the far left. They never made it; in motion to the left, they advanced right into the face of a massive Confederate onslaught.

Historian Jim Ogden will examine the midday fight of Sheridan’s Division on the southern portion of the Dyer Farm. Participants in this 2-hour program will meet at the special program parking area on Dyer Road and then car caravan onto the Battlefield for the 1 3/4 mile walk.

South Carolina Attacks Snodgrass-3:30 pm

The day seemingly was theirs. Over the last hour or so, these Palmetto State men had swept through woods and over fields littered with abandoned equipment and enemy casualties. The Federals they had seen mostly quickly disappeared. Those who had resisted had soon disappeared too. Seemingly, all that needed to be done now, in early afternoon, was to sweep the field clean and victory would be theirs.

This 2-mile, 2-hour walking tour with Historian Jim Ogden will examine the role and experience of Joseph Kershaw’s South Carolina Brigade in North Dyer Field and onto the slopes of Snodgrass Hill on September 20, 1863. It will begin and end on Snodgrass Hill at the parking area for the special programs being conducted there.

Hood’s Brigade in the Viniard Field-5 pm

The fighting in Viniard Field was some of the bloodiest on the field of Chickamauga. One of the units to in this engagement was Hood’s Texas Brigade, also known as Lee’s Grenadier Guard. This tour will tell the story of this renowned unit in the brutal fight through the farm field of Tabler Viniard, but also give some insight into the men that made up this hard-hitting organization.

Join Park Guide Lee White for this special 2-hour tour that will start at the gravel parking area just east of Viniard Field (Tour Stop 5) on the Viniard-Alexander Road.

The Home & Hearth Defended: Lieutenant A. J. Neal, McCann's Florida Battery, and the Reserve Artillery-6:30 pm

Six weeks before the Battle of Chickamauga, Confederate Lieutenant Andrew J. Neal wrote of the “tender mercies of the infernal Yankees.” On the afternoon of September 20, Neal, his battery, and the Confederate Reserve Artillery played their part in the victory in valley of the “River of Death.” Join Historian Jim Ogden as he examines a phase of the battle that is often overlooked—where the “long-arm” of the armies had a chance to fight the way it was intended to fight and with an ironic connection to 2014 Sesquicentennial events.

This program will begin at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center and then car caravan down to Poe Road.

Sunday, September 21

Living History Programs

Park rangers and living historians will be staged at various areas in Chickamauga Battlefield portraying potential scenarios that occurred here in 1864. All programs will be continuous throughout the day with no formal beginning or ending times.

1)At the Dyer House Site, a group of Union soldiers portraying a burial detail removing the bodies of their fallen comrades to the cemetery in Chattanooga .

2) Union soldiers stationed in Dyer Field, near the location of the South Carolina Monument, will portray the men of Sherman’s army that passed through the battlefield on their way to Atlanta and will discuss the importance of communication in the army.

3) Civilians at Snodgrass Hill (Tour Stop 8) will educate visitors about the families that came back to the area to try and renew their lives after the horrific battle in 1863.

4) At the top of Horseshoe Ridge, visitors will meet “Confederate” guerillas who might have operated in the area in 1864, coming to blows with the local citizenry and Union soldiers alike.

The Wings Overlapped-9 am

In the predawn darkness of the forest, with a new organization and no established unit boundaries, is it any wonder that when James Longstreet formed his Left Wing before sunup, the action unknowingly moved one of his divisions in front of part of one of Leonidas Polk’s? As a result, when the Confederate attack began some hours later, two divisions from the two wings tried to advance across the same ground at the same time.

Join Historian Jim Ogden for this 2-hour, 1 1/2 mile walking tour that will examine the attack (or attacks) that occurred where the Left Wing overlapped the Right. This program will begin at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center and then car caravan to Battleline Road.

Lilly’s Battery at Viniard’s-12:30 pm

“So fearful is the result that a Lieutenant of the battery begs the Captain not to fire again, declaring it murder.” So recorded a member of Wilder’s Brigade of the 18th Indiana Battery’s impact on the Viniard Farm on September 19, 1863. Made efficient by the young Greencastle, Indiana, pharmacist who commanded them, Eli Lilly, the battery’s accurate and rapid fire, when added to that of Wilder’s Spencers, is part of what made the fighting on Viniard’s so bloody.

This 2-hour program with Historian Jim Ogden will examine what made Lilly’s Battery such a devastating force at Chickamauga. It will begin at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center and then car caravan to the Viniard Farm.

The Reserve Corps at Snodgrass-3:30 pm

For George Thomas, the soon to be “Rock of Chickamauga,” and the Federal’s who had rallied there, the arrival of Gordon Granger and two Reserve Corps brigades at the “sound of the guns” on Snodgrass Hill occurred at a opportune moment; the right of the new line on Snodgrass was about to be turned.

In this two hour, 1 1/2 mile walking tour, Historian Jim Ogden will relate the critical role of Whitaker’s and Mitchell’s brigades on that final afternoon of the Battle of Chickamauga. The program will begin at the parking area on Snodgrass Hill.

 

This schedule is printable in .pdf format.

Please note that Comfortable, supportive footwear, clothing appropriate for the weather, a bottle of water, and a flashlight are recommended for these special tours.

Also, ALL tours are subject to change depending on staffing and hazardous weather conditions.

We look forward to seeing you as we commemorate the 151st Anniversary of the Battle of Chickamauga!

Last updated: December 7, 2017

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Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742

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