154th Anniversary of the Battle of Chickamauga: September 15-20, 2017

Beginning on September 18, 1863, Union and Confederate forces clashed along the banks of West Chickamauga Creek. At stake was the industrial hub of Chattanooga, and with it the fortunes of the fledgling Confederacy and the future of the United States and its citizens. For three days the armies struggled through the woods and fields here, leaving behind the broken dreams and lives of thousands of young men cut down in the prime of life. Despite the Confederate victory at Chickamauga, the Union Army was able to regroup in Chattanooga, where Union victory in that city marked the “Death Knell of the Confederacy.”

Join the staff at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park as we commemorate the 154th Anniversary of the Battle of Chickamauga with a series of ranger-guided tours, hikes, lectures, and living history demonstrations.

The program schedule for the weekend is listed below.

 
Living historians in Confederate uniforms fire a cannon at Chickamauga Battlefield
Living historians fire a cannon at Chickamauga Battlefield. Artillery programs will take place at Tour Stop 7.

NPS Photo

Living History Programs

Saturday, September 16, and Sunday, September 17

Youth Programming: The Camp of Instruction

Throughout the weekend, living historians with the Western Federal Infantry will be encamped at the visitor center. Young people will have the opportunity to “enlist” and interact at stations on both infantry and artillery drill, as well as daily life for soldiers. After completing all of the stations and participating in a program out on the battlefield, young people will earn their Junior Ranger Badge.

Company Drill and Demo:
Saturday and Sunday 11 am and 3 pm.

Dent's Alabama Battery Engages at Chickamauga: Artillery Demonstrations

Saturday at 9:30 am, 10:30 am 11:30 am, 2:30 pm, and 3:30 pm
Sunday at 9:30 am, 10:30 am, 11:30 am, and 2:30 pm
Location: Tour Stop 7

During the Confederate breakthrough on September 20, 1863, it was not just infantry on the move. Confederate artillery quickly advanced to participate in the attacks around Dyer Field and Snodgrass Hill. Meet at Tour Stop 7, along Glenn-Kelly Road, to learn how Dent’s Alabama Battery engaged retreating Union forces around the Dyer Farm. This program will feature cannon firing demonstrations.

 
A portrait of Walter Thompson, a Confederate soldier in the 23rd Tennessee Infantry who fought at Chickamauga
Walter Thompson served in the 23rd Tennessee and was captured at Chickamauga. This photo was taken in Camp Douglas shorterly after his capture.

Library of Congress

Walking in the Footsteps of the 23rd Tennessee Infantry

Times and Locations:
Saturday at 10 am - Jay’s Mill
Saturday at 2pm - Near Tour Stop 5 (Viniard Field)
Saturday at 4 pm - Tour Stop 4 (Brotherton Cabin)
Sunday at 10 am - Tour Stop 4 (Brotherton Cabin)
Sunday at 1pm - Tour Stop 8 (Snodgrass Hill)
Sunday at 2pm - Tour Stop 8 (Snodgrass Hill)

Throughout the weekend, living historians will portray the men of the 23rd Tennessee Infantry as they move across the battlefield. At various locations throughout the park, visitors will have the opportunity to hear firsthand accounts from the men of this regiment. Drive to the area listed, and follow "special event" signs for parking.




Ranger Programs

Saturday September 16

9:30 am - Bicycle Tour of Chickamauga Battlefield
Location: Meet at the visitor venter

Location: Meet at the Visitor Center
Take a bicycle tour of the battlefield with a park ranger. The tour begins at the Chickamauga battlefield visitor center. Bring your own bike and helmet, or call the park visitor center at 706-866-9241 to reserve a bike from Outdoor Chattanooga.

10 am and 2 pm - Car Caravan Tour of Chickamauga Battlefield

Location: Meet at the visitor center
Learn about the Battle of Chickamauga on a 2 hour car caravan tour of the battlefield with a park ranger.

3 pm - Picking Up the Pieces: The Long Term Effects of the Battle on the People Who Lived There

Location: Meet at the Visitor Center
Join a park ranger for this 90 minute car caravan tour of the battlefield focusing on how the battle affected the local population.
 

Sunday, September 17

10 am and 2 pm - Car Caravan Tour of Chickamauga Battlefield

Location: Meet at the visitor center
Learn about the Battle of Chickamauga on a 2hour car caravan tour of the battlefield with a park ranger.

Guided Hikes With Park Historian Jim Ogden

Beginning Friday, September 15, Park Historian Jim Ogden will lead a series of guided hikes focusing on specific actions and areas during the battle of Chickamauga. Participants are encouraged to wear clothing appropriate for the weather, closed toed shoes, insect repellent and to bring a water bottle. For the evening hikes, flashlights are recommended.

Friday, September 15

7 pm - Dan McCook at Night

Location: Jay's Mill
This 90 minute, 1 mile round trip walking tour will examine the important role Dan McCook and his brigade had on the then developing Battle of Chickamauga. Follow the "special event" signs from the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center.

 
Park Historian Jim Ogden leads a hike with a crowd of visitors
Park Historian Jim Ogden leads a hike in Chickamauga Battlefield

NPS Photo

Saturday, September 16

8:15 am - Dan McCook in the Morning

Location: Jay's Mill
This 90 minute, 1 mile walking tour will examine the intelligence gained and McCook’s actions early on September 19.

11 am - Scribner and Walthall Fight at Winfrey Field

Location: Brotherton Road Picnic Area
For Benjamin Scribner’s and Edward Walthall’s brigades, George Winfrey’s small cornfield in the forest became the landmark for their battle the morning of the 19th. The story of that fight is the subject of this 90 minute 1.5 mile walking tour.

2:30 pm - Texans at Viniard Farm

Location: Viniard Field (Tour Stop 5)
In this 2 hour, 2 mile walking tour, visitors will trace the actions of the Texas Brigade in their fight of September 19 at the Viniard farm. Go to Tour Stop 5, on LaFayette Road, and look for signs directing you to the program area just off of Viniard-Alexander Road.

7 pm - Lucius Polk's Brigade in the Forest Twilight

Location: Jay's Mill
In this 90 minute, 1.5 mile lf walking tour, Visitors will learn about the experience of Polk’s Tennesseans and Arkansans in the woods, in the dark, on September 19. Follow the "special event" signs from the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center.

 
John Munson of the 72nd Indiana Infantry sits on his horse while carrying a Spencer Rifle
John Munson of the 72nd Indiana Mounted Infantry of John Wilder's Lightning Brigade. Wilder's Brigade will be the subject of several of Park Historian Jim Ogden's programs

Sunday, September 17

8:15 am - Longstreet Forms

Location: The Brotherton Cabin (Tour Stop 4)
This 1.5 mile, 1 hour and 45 minute walking tour will examine Longstreet’s efforts on the morning of September 20 to form his men for their assault on the Union center.

10:45 am - Stewart Attacks

Location: The Brotherton Cabin (Tour Stop 4)
Alexander Stewart’s mid-morning assault on September 20 will be the subject of this 2 hour, 2 mile walking tour.

3 pm - The Reserve Corps at Snodgrass Hill

Location: Tour Stop 8
In this 2 hour, 1.5 mile walking tour, visitors will learn about the critical role of Whitaker’s and Mitchell’s brigades on that final afternoon of the Battle of Chickamauga.

Monday, September 18

2pm - Lightning at Alexander's Bridge

Location: Meet at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center
This 2 hour car caravan and walking tour that will examine how Wilder, with just a portion of his command, cost the Confederates critical time in launching their attack. The program will begin at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center and then proceed to the Alexander House site. There will be 1 mile of walking. Meet at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center

7pm - Wilder at Dark

Location: Viniard-Alexander Road
Historian Jim Ogden will examine Wilder’s stand at dark on September 18 in this 90 minute, 1.5 mile walking tour. Follow the “Special Program” signs from the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center.

Tuesday, September 19

2pm - To the Support of Palmer: Van Cleve on September 19, 1863

Location: The Brotherton Cabin (Tour Stop 4)
This 90 minute, 1.5 mile walking tour will examine the engagement of Van Cleve’s Division on September 19.

7pm - Orders for the Disposition of the Night

Location: Battleline Road, South of Tour Stop 2
Visitors will examine the bee hive of activity in the rear of the Union left around Kelly Field on the evening of September 19 in this 90 minute mile and a half walking tour. Follow the "special event" signs from the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center.

Wednesday, September 20

7pm - The Close of Battle on the Union Left

Location: The Texas Monument
This 90 minute, 1 mile walking tour will explore the action on the Union left flank at sunset on September 20, 1863. The tour begins on Battleline Road near the Texas Monument; follow the "special event" signs from the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center.
 
Photo of Silas Chandler in Confederate uniform.
Silas Chandler was only one of hundreds of African Americans who were at the Battle of Chickamauga working as laborers for both the Union and Confederate Armies. On Monday, September 18, the park will hold a special program on these men at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center in Chattanooga.

Library of Congress

Special Program at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center

Monday, September 18at 5:30 pm

"This Was War and They Was Rebels:" African American Experiences at the Battle of Chickamauga

Location: The Bessie Smith Cultural Center (200 Martin Luther King, Blvd. Chattanooga, TN)
Join us at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center in Chattanooga for this 1 hour lecture program on the experiences of African Americans who participated in the Battle of Chickamauga. The doors open at 5 pm and the program will begin at 5:30.

 

We’d like to extend a special thanks to all of the volunteers, living historians, and park partners who help make this weekend possible, including: The Friends of the Park, Outdoor Chattanooga, The Governor Guards, The Western Federal Infantry, The volunteer cannon crews from Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield, and Stones River National Battlefield. In addition, there are dozens of volunteers assisting with parking and the visitor center operations.

Please note that all programs are subject to change.

Last updated: December 10, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

3370 LaFayette Road
Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742

Phone:

(706) 866-9241

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