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Semi-Wordless Wednesday: The Haunting Memorials of Chickamauga

Just south of Chattanooga in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, lies Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. It’s not only the nation’s first and largest military park, but also the model for others that followed. (Including Shiloh, Gettysburg, and Vicksburg.)

BRIEF HISTORY

Chattanooga was considered the “Gateway to the Deep South” during the Civil War. Therefore it was a prized city to possess and fight for.

Fighting broke out in the Chickamauga Campaign on September 19, 1863. (Although troops were well in position before that so many sources cite the days of battle as being September 18-20, 1863.)

The result? Estimated casualties exceeded 34,000 and the Confederates “won.” (Later they would realize while they had won that battle, it was also a key in what set them up for their ultimate defeat.)

THE BATTLEFIELD TODAY

Today the park is preserved to look as it did back when the battles were fought there in 1863. (Sans the blood and bodies.)

The over 1,400 monuments and historical markers were erected by veterans from both sides who fought there. The result?

A breathtaking commorative landscape.

A BATTLEFIELD OF ART AND SCULPTURE

Other than the invisible barrier that separates the park from the city streets of Rossville and Fort Oglethorpe and the signs telling you you’re now entering the park, there’s no warning of what lies just ahead. It’s almost surreal to go from the modern (yet small city) feel smack into history.

Part of the Visitor's Center, the first building to greet you upon entering Chickamauga

I felt like I was experiencing what it might feel like to find myself jolted back through time. And then to see all the memorials…it’s nothing short of humbling. The care and craftsmanship with which these memorials were created are truly works of art.

Below are a few examples of the loving tributes the Civil War veterans who fought there left behind:

Memorial on the field across from the Visitor's Center
A row of memorials on the way to stop 1 of the driving tour through the park
A close-up of one of the memorials
An example of the craftmanship on the stones
Memorials lining a path commerating where troops fought in the woods
A memorial for the 18th U.S. Infantry
They also represented a variety of divisions from different states. This one is for troops from Wisconsin.
Many had acorns on them
And many had soldiers on them, like this one...
...and this one
Some were tall
You could almost say some were monumental
While others were smaller and less pronounced
They lined the treeline
And they looked impressive on the fields next to the cannons
This one towered above the trees
This one was at tour stop 6 and was my fave because you could walk inside and go to the top!

Soldiers weren't the only ones memorialized, so were the horses!
Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her on a tennis court somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.
http://www.courtneymroch.com

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