Through the Gateway: The Rebirth of Chattanooga

Lithograph of the Battle of Lookout Mountain
Lithograph depicting the Battle of Lookout Mountain

Library of Congress

"Then Chattanooga was war's gateway to the South; now it is the gateway of peace, commerce, and prosperity." - President Benjamin Harrison, 1891
 
Park Historian Jim Ogden leads a tour of the battlefields of Chattanooga
Park Historian Jim Ogden leads a tour of the battlefields of Chattanooga during the 150th Anniversary in 2013.

NPS Photo

During the Civil War, Chattanooga was the "Gateway to the Confederacy." To the south lay the Confederacy's heartland. President Lincoln declared that if the Union could capture Chattanooga then the war would be won. By November of 1863, the Union Army occupied Chattanooga, but was under siege. Confederates controlled the heights around the city, and only a steady trickle of supplies on the "Cracker Line" kept the Union Army fed. From November 23-25, 1863 the Union Army launched a series of assaults on the Confederate positions around the city. The Confederates were driven south, and the gateway to the Confederacy was opened. Over the next two years the Union Army's occupation of Chattanooga led to a rebirth of the city as they constructed roads, bridges, and railroads. Thousands of civilians and enslaved people poured into the city, and a thriving economy developed in the wake of the military presence. In the fall of 1865 Chattanooga emerged from the Civil War a thriving economic hub, poised to become one of the region's leading cities.

Join us for the 152nd Anniversary of the Battles of Chattanooga on November 21-22, 2015, for a series of ranger-guided programs exploring how soldiers and civilians went "through the gateway" of Chattanooga and the city was reborn.

Saturday, November 21

The Cravens House will be open from 9 am to 5 pm, and a Park Ranger will be available for house tours.

9 am - Ranger Guided Hike from Sunset Rock to the Craven's House
Follow in the Footsteps of the Union Army as they advance across the slopes of Lookout Mountain. Meet at Sunset Rock at 9:00. The hike will last two to two and a half hours over a mile of rocky trail. Wear comfortable footwear and clothing, and bring a water bottle. Transportation is not provided for the return to Sunset Rock. There are no admission fees for this program.

9:30 am - Engaging the Attention of the Enemy: Hooker's Demonstration on Lookout Creek
While John Geary’s “White Star” Division moved to sweep the western slope of Lookout Mountain, Union Major General Joseph Hooker directed other troops to move against the main Confederate positions guarding the road bridges over the creek at the mountain’s northwest base. Join National Military Park Historian Jim Ogden for a two hour, 2 mile walk through part of the Lookout Mountain Battlefield that later became the perspective and foreground of artist James Walker’s mammoth painting,The Battle of Lookout Mountain. The tour will begin along Parker Lane off Brown’s Ferry Road just south of Interstate 24 Exit 175 in Lookout Valley/Tiftonia; look for the “Special Event” signs at and on Parker Lane. Comfortable, supportive footwear and clothing appropriate for the weather are recommended. There are no admission fees for this tour.

10 am to 4 pm - Meet Author Dr. Aaron Astor
From 10 am to 4 pm, Dr. Aaron Astor will be available at the Point Park visitor center to sign copies of his books The Civil War Along Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau. He will give a special presentation in the visitor center at 1 pm. There are no admission fees to hear Dr. Astor's program, and copies of his book will be available for sale.

10 am - Ranger Guided Tour of Point Park
Join a Park Ranger for 45 minute walking tour of Point Park and learn about the Battle of Lookout Mountain. Admission to Point Park is $5 per adult, age 16 and over. Ages 15 and under are free.

11 am - Ranger Talk at the Ochs Memorial Observatory in Point Park.
Join a Park Ranger at the Ochs Museum for 30 discussion about the role of photography and signalling in the hills and valleys around Chattanooga. Admission to Point Park is $5 per adult, age 16 and over. Ages 15 and under are free.

Noon - Ranger Guided Tour of Point Park
Join a Park Ranger for 45 minute walking tour of Point Park and learn about the Battle of Lookout Mountain. Admission to Point Park is $5 per adult, age 16 and over. Ages 15 and under are free.

1 pm - Ranger Guided Hike from Sunset Rock to the Craven's House
Follow in the Footsteps of the Union Army as they advance across the slopes of Lookout Mountain. Meet at Sunset Rock at 9:00. The hike will last two to two and a half hours over a mile of rocky trail. Wear comfortable footwear and clothing, and bring a water bottle. Transportation is not provided for the return to Sunset Rock. There are no admission fees for this program.

2 pm - Ranger Guided Tour of Point Park
Join a Park Ranger for 45 minute walking tour of Point Park and learn about the Battle of Lookout Mountain. Admission to Point Park is $5 per adult, age 16 and over. Ages 15 and under are free.

3 pm - Ranger Talk at the Ochs Memorial Observatory in Point Park.
Join a Park Ranger at the Ochs Museum for 30 discussion about the role of photography and signalling in the hills and valleys around Chattanooga. Admission to Point Park is $5 per adult, age 16 and over. Ages 15 and under are free.

3:30 pm - Sherman's Crossing and the Occupation of Billy Goat Hill
An amphibious assault across the Tennessee to attack the Confederate right along Missionary Ridge was supposed to be Ulysses S. Grant’s main strike at Chattanooga in November, 1863. The rain swollen river proved no real obstacle; carrying the ridge on the Rebel right was found to be far more difficult than anticipated. Join National Military Park Historian Jim Ogden for this two hour car caravan look at William T. Sherman’s initial successes and failures in Grant’s Battles for Chattanooga. The program will begin at the Riverpoint Trailhead on the Tennessee Riverwalk at Lost Mound Drive in the 3800 block of Amnicola Highway. Comfortable, supportive footwear and clothing appropriate for the weather are recommended. There are no admission fees for this program.

4 pm - Ranger Guided Tour of Point Park
Join a Park Ranger for 45 minute walking tour of Point Park and learn about the Battle of Lookout Mountain. Admission to Point Park is $5 per adult, age 16 and over. Ages 15 and under are free.

 
A Park Ranger leads a tour of Point Park on the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Lookout Mountain
A Park Ranger leads a tour of Point Park during the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Lookout Mountain, November 2103.

NPS Photo

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Cravens House will be open from 9 am to 5 pm, and a Park Ranger will be available for house tours.

10 am - "With a Fearlessness and Determination That Was Astonishing: Sherman's Assaults on Tunnel Hill
“…with a fearlessness and determination that was astonishing.” That is way one Union brigade commander described his men’s assault on Tunnel Hill on November 25, 1863. His was one of the more than half a dozen Northern brigades that attacked the Confederate line on the hilltop rising in their front. In this two hour, mile and a half walk in the Sherman Reservation, National Military Park Historian Jim Ogden will examine the ground of Tunnel Hill and the Union attacks across it. The program will begin at the Sherman Reservation parking area in the 2800 block of Lightfoot Mill Road just off Campbell Street/North Crest Road. Comfortable, supportive footwear, water, and clothing appropriate for the weather are recommended. There are no admission fees for this tour.

10 am - Ranger Guided Tour of Point Park
Join a Park Ranger for 45 minute walking tour of Point Park and learn about the Battle of Lookout Mountain. Admission to Point Park is $5 per adult, age 16 and over. Ages 15 and under are free.

11 am - Ranger Talk at the Ochs Memorial Observatory in Point Park.
Join a Park Ranger at the Ochs Museum for 30 discussion about the role of photography and signalling in the hills and valleys around Chattanooga. Admission to Point Park is $5 per adult, age 16 and over. Ages 15 and under are free.

Noon - Ranger Guided Tour of Point Park
Join a Park Ranger for 45 minute walking tour of Point Park and learn about the Battle of Lookout Mountain. Admission to Point Park is $5 per adult, age 16 and over. Ages 15 and under are free.

2 pm - The Lone Star State Leads the Defense of Tunnel Hill
“…the brunt of this long day’s fight was borne by Smith’s (Texas) brigade….” That is how Confederate General Pat Cleburne began the summary of his division’s fighting on November 25, 1863. While ably supported by others, the Lone Star men positioned atop Tunnel Hill withstood more than half a dozen Union attacks to thereby be the basis of Cleburne’s success against William T. Sherman. National Military Park Historian Jim Ogden will examine this stalwart defense by the Texans in this two hour, one mile walking tour. The program will begin at the Sherman Reservation parking area in the 2800 block of Lightfoot Mill Road just off Campbell Street/North Crest Road. Comfortable, supportive footwear, water, and clothing appropriate for the weather are recommended. There are no admission fees for this tour.

2 pm - Ranger Guided Tour of Point Park
Join a Park Ranger for 45 minute walking tour of Point Park and learn about the Battle of Lookout Mountain. Admission to Point Park is $5 per adult, age 16 and over. Ages 15 and under are free.

3 pm - Ranger Talk at the Ochs Memorial Observatory in Point Park.
Join a Park Ranger at the Ochs Museum for 30 discussion about the role of photography and signalling in the hills and valleys around Chattanooga. Admission to Point Park is $5 per adult, age 16 and over. Ages 15 and under are free.EndFragment

4 pm - Ranger Guided Tour of Point Park
Join a Park Ranger for 45 minute walking tour of Point Park and learn about the Battle of Lookout Mountain. Admission to Point Park is $5 per adult, age 16 and over. Ages 15 and under are free.

Last updated: November 16, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

3370 LaFayette Road
Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742

Phone:

(706) 866-9241

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