Cravens House

Living historians portraying Confederates congregate at Cravens House
Living historians portray Confederate soldiers at Cravens House


Quick Facts
The present Cravens House, set high on Lookout Mountain, has long been an iconic image of both the mountain just we of Chattanooga and the Civil War battle that bears the mountain's name. The two-story wood frame and board house, with its stone dependency, have a commanding view of the city below. Indeed, the house, stark white against the dark greens, grays, and browns of the mountain, is visible for miles away. 

When the Civil War erupted, Chattanooga was of strategic importance. During the ensuing battles, Confederate General E. C. Walthall made the Cravens House his headquarters, perhaps sharing it with the Cravens family until US bombardments force the family to evacuate. In late 1863, US forces commanded by General Joseph Hooker defeated Confederates during the Battle of Lookout Mountain, nicknamed "The Battle Above the Clouds." 

Though damaged, the house survived the battle but did not survive the aftermath. Hundreds of soldiers and news correspondents who had set up camp in the front yard and around the house, virtually dismantled the wooden portions save for a few large framing timbers. According to contemporary accounts, the troops and camped journalists used much of the wood for tent flooring and firewood; a large amout was also carried away by souvenir hunters. The wood-framed gable roof of the dairy suffered the same fate. 

Cravens returned and built his second residence, the one preserved today, in 1865/1866. 

Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park

Last updated: April 27, 2021