The Road Home: The 152nd Anniversary of the Battle of Chickamauga

In the late summer of 1865 the United States was reunited after four years of war, but the struggle was far from over. Americans, North and South, struggled to bind up the nation's wounds and thousands of soldiers entered a difficult transition back to civilian life. From September 18-20, 2015, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park will host a series of programs at Chickamauga Battlefield exploring the challenges faced by soldiers and civilians on the long road home. All ranger-guided programs are free of charge.

 
Ranger giving a tour
A ranger leads a tour of Chickamauga Battlefield

NPS Photo

Car Caravan Tour of Chickamauga Battlefield

Saturday and Sunday at 10 am and 2 pm

Join a park ranger for a car caravan tour of the Chickamauga Battlefield. Tours last between an 90 minutes and two hours and offer an overview of the Battle of Chickamauga. Visitors drive their own vehicles, behind a park vehicle, and stop at a variety of key locations on the battlefield. Tours begin in the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center.

Post-Traumatic Stress and Rejoining Society

Saturday and Sunday at 9:30 am and 1:30 pm

At the end of the Civil War, hundreds of thousands of soldiers went home, but for many, the struggle was only just beginning. This 90 minute car caravan tour explores the sites where soldiers' lives were forever changed, and how those men coped with physical disabilities and years of mental anguish. There are strong parallels between the challenges faced by Civil War veterans and the veterans returning home from present-day conflicts. A representative from the Veterans Administration Vet Center will share his experiences of coming home from combat and how the VA is working to assist veterans with the transition back to civilian life. The program begins and ends in the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center.

Bicycle Tour of Chickamauga Battlefield

Saturday at 9:30 am

Join a National Park Service ranger for a two-hour bicycle tour of Chickamauga Battlefield. Helmets are required for all participants.Participants may bring their own bicycles or may reserve a loaner bicycle by calling 706-866-9241. This program is supported by Outdoor Chattanooga and is sponsored by the Friends of the Park and the Chattanooga Bicycle Club.

Into the West

Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 am and 2:30 pm

Many of the men who fought at Chickamauga returned home in the summer and fall of 1865, but not everyone was so fortunate. A significant number of Chickamauga veterans remained in the United States Army and fought against American Indian tribes on the Western frontier. Some of these veterans survived the horrors of Chickamauga only to meet death on the Great Plains. This two hour car caravan tour meets in the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center and will explore the stories of those men who ended one war only to fight another.

The Germans of Chickamauga

Saturday at 3:30 pm and Sunday at 11:30 am and 3:30 pm

In the mid-19th Century, a wave of German immigrants journeyed to the United States and many fought in the Civil War. Join a park ranger for this 90 minute car caravan tour that explores the role that German immigrants played in the battle and how their legacy evolved in the early 20th Century and the outbreak of World War I. The tour begins in the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center.

 
Living Historians Fire a Civil War Cannon
Living historians fire a Civil War cannon at Chickamauga Battlefield

NPS/W. Sunderland

Living History - Artillery Programs

Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm

Artillery programs take place at Kelly Field along the LaFayette Road, south of the visitor center. Parking is available in west Kelly Field.

Living History - Infantry Programs

Saturday and Sunday at 10 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm

Infantry programs are located at the Kelly Cabin along the LaFayette Road, south of
the visitor center. Parking is available in west Kelly Field.

 
Park Historian Jim Ogden leads a tour
Park Historian Jim Ogden leads a tour

NPS Photo

Special Programs with Park Historian Jim Ogden

Throughout the weekend, Park Historian Jim Ogden will lead a series of guided hikes that explore in depth stories of the Battle of Chickamauga in September 1863. Visitors should plan to bring a water bottle and wear comfortable clothing and footwear.

Friday, September 18

7 pm - 8:30 pm: Guard the Crossing at Alexander Bridge: Wilder on September 18

This program will be led by Park Historian Jim Ogden and will focus on the action around Alexander's Bridge on September 18, 1863. This one mile hike will begin at the intersection of Alexander Bridge and Viniard-Alexander roads. Visitors are encouraged to bring a flashlight.

Saturday, September 19

9 am - 10:30 am: Georgia Infantry Joins the Fight

Park Historian Jim Ogden will lead this mile and half hike, tracing the actions of Georgia Infantry under the command of Claudius Wilson in the early moments of the battle on the morning of September 19, 1863.The program will begin at Jay's Mill.

11:30 am - 1 pm: "We Expected to be Pushed Into the Fight at Any Minute:" Scribner's Brigade Engages

"Bullets were whistling and shells were flying over us." For a member of Benjamin Scribner's Brigade moving to support other battling Union troops, this was a clear sign that they would likely "be pushed into the fight at any minute." Join Park Historian Jim Ogden on hike following the experiences of Scribner's Brigade on the morning of September 19, 1863. The program will begin at the parking area at the intersection of Alexander Bridge Road and Brotherton Road.

2:30 pm - 4 pm: Wilder and Lilly at Viniard's

Park Historian Jim Ogden will relate the role of firepower and leadership in helping Wilder's Brigade and Lilly's Battery achieve success on September 19 during this hike. The tour will begin on Glenn-Viniard Road at Viniard Field, just beyond Tour Stop 5.

6:30 pm - 8 pm: Lucius Polk's Brigade Fights in the Dark: The Night Attack September 19

On the evening of September 19, 1863, Confederate troops from Tennessee and Arkansas found themselves in a terrifying fight in the darkened woods. This hike will explore the experiences of these men as they engaged in rare nighttime fighting. Visitors are encouraged to bring a flashlight. The tour will begin on Brotherton Road just west of Jay's Mill.

Sunday, September 20

9 am - 10:30 am: Where Victory Could Still Have Been Won

For two days the Confederates fought to drive the Union Army to the southwest, but on the morning of September 20, the outcome was still in doubt as Confederates under the command of John Breckenridge began their attack. Join Park Historian Jim Ogden on this hike exploring the area of Breckenridge's attack. The program will begin at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center.

11:30 am - 1:30 pm: The Collapse of the Union Right

Just after 11 am on September 20, 1863, thousands of Confederate soldiers poured through a gap in the Union line, dividing the Union Army in two. This two mile hike will follow this decisive action on the battle's final day. Meet at the Recreation Field Parking Area along Glenn-Kelly Road between Tour Stops 6 and 7.

3 pm - 5 pm: Johnson and Hindman Attack Snodgrass Hill

In the midst of the breakthrough, Confederate General John Bell Hood gave orders to Bushrod Johnson to continue the attack. But at Snodgrass Hill, they found that not all of the Union Army had been routed. This two mile hike will explore the attacks made by Confederate troops against Snodgrass Hill on September 20, 1863. The tour will begin at Tour Stop 8 at Snodgrass Hill.

Last updated: August 29, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

3370 LaFayette Road
Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742

Phone:

(706) 866-9241

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