Against All Odds: The 153rd Anniversary of the Battle of Chickamauga

The Battle of Chickamauga was unique in terms of combat in the Civil War. This was not a chess piece battle of Generals moving men in an orderly fashion across a map. Rather, this was, as one general noted, "bushwhacking on a grand scale." For the soldiers, this tested their resolve and dedication. Should they press on into the unknown, against an unknown foe, or should they hold fast and organize? Soldiers on both sides overwhelmingly chose to press on against all odds, with no guarantees of victory or survival.

Many of us still face this decision every day. We are confronted with challenges at work, school, or at home. Do we press forward to meet those challenges, no matter the odds of success? Or do we wait and see what the future holds?

Throughout the weekend of September 17-18, 2016, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park will commemorate the 153rd anniversary of the Battle of Chickamauga by challenging visitors to ponder this decision. Special programs will highlight stories of men who fought here and what choices they made in the face of overwhelming odds.
Car Caravan Tour of the Battlefield
Learn about the Battle of Chickamauga on a 2 hour car caravan tour with a park ranger. Meet at the battlefield visitor center.
Meet at Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center
Saturday, September 17 at 10am and 2pm.
Sunday, September 18 at 10am and 2pm
Two Hours, Minimal Walking
Firing a cannon at Dyer Field
Living historians fire a cannon at Dyer Field from the position of General John Mendenhall's Artillery Line

NPS Photo

"A Most Unsatisfactory Place:" Dyer Field on September 20, 1863 (Artillery Demonstrations)
As the Union Army's center and right disintegrated on September 20, Chief of Artillery John Mendenhall's artillery line along Dyer Field stood virtually alone to stem the Confederate advance. See and hear an artillery battery along the ridge line from the perspective of the attacking Confederates and retreating Union soldiers along the Glenn-Kelly Road. The program will last 45 minutes and meets along the Glenn-Kelly Road. Follow the special event signs.
East End of Dyer Field along the Glenn Kelly Road. Look for road signs
Saturday, September 17 at 10:30am, 1:30pm, 3:30pm
Sunday, September 18 at 10:30am and 1:30pm
45 minutes, Short walk of less than 100 yards over flat terrain
Richard Kirkland
Richard Kirkland, killed at Chickamauga on September 20, 1863. His last words were reputed to be "Tell my Pa I died right."
"Tell my Pa I died right." The Second South Carolina Infantry at Horseshoe Ridge
As the Confederate Army assaulted Horseshoe Ridge on the afternoon of September 20, scores of Confederates fell dead on the slopes of Snodgrass Hill, including Richard Kirkland, the famed "Angel of Marye's Heights." Follow in the footsteps of Kirkland and the 2nd South Carolina Infantry as they advance on Snodgrass Hill, and meet living historians portraying these men who made the charge. The program begins at the South Carolina Monument, and you can meet the group there, or park at Tour Stop 8 on Snodgrass Hill and walk over with a ranger. The program lasts 45-60 minutes and requires moderate walking.
Snodgrass Hill & Horseshoe Ridge. Program formally begins at South Carolina Monument. Meet the ranger at Tour Stop 8 and walk out to the monument, or meet the group directly at the monument.
Saturday, September 17 at 9:30am, 11:30am, 2:30pm, and 4:30pm
Sunday, September 18 at 9:30am, 11:30am, and 2:30pm
45-60 minutes, Moderate Walking

Echoes of an Unending Battle
Throughout the weekend the sound of cannon will echo across Chickamauga Battlefield. But for the men who fought here, the sounds and feelings of battle echoed long after the shooting stopped. Meet a Civil War soldier at the visitor center to learn about how the war affected men in the generations after the conflict ended. Program lasts 30-40 minutes.
Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center
Saturday, September 17 at 9am, 11am, 3pm, and 4pm
Sunday, September 18 at 9am, 11am, 3pm, and 4pm
30-40 Minutes, No Walking
Bike the Battlefield
Take a bicycle tour of the battlefield with a park ranger. The tour begins at the battlefield visitor center. Bring your own bike and helmet, or call the park visitor center at 706-866-9241 to reserve a loaner bicycle from Outdoor Chattanooga. Supported by Friends of the Park.
Meet in the parking lot of Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center
Saturday, September 17 at 9:30am
2.5-3 hours, Bicycling 3-5 miles

Last updated: August 26, 2016

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