Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park
County:Walker Catoosa
City:Ft. Oglethorpe
Type:National Park, Battlefield
Park Headquarters
Photo courtesy Carole Scott
The bloodiest two-day battle of the Civil War was fought at Chickamauga on September 19th and 20th, 1863. More than 35,000 men were killed, wounded or missing out of 120,000 who engaged in the battle. The park also commemorates the battle of Chattanooga (city history), which was fought November 23-25, 1863. The military park was the first in the nation and celebrated its' 100th birthday in 1990. A seven mile loop tour features markers and monuments placed by states after the war. A longer 12-mile tour is also available. The park office, a beautiful glass edifice with a multimedia presentation also houses the Fuller Gun Collection containing 355 weapons. An older office built by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers at the turn of the century is nearby and can be seen on the tour.

Download map of the tour.

Tour Stops

1 Battle of Chickamauga From here the original Visitor's Center is visible. Dense woods and thick underbrush played an important role in the battle. Artillery was ineffective and generals had trouble keeping track of their troops

2 The Battleline On September 20, 1863, General Leonidas Polk, an Episcopalian bishop, sacrificed his men in an attack against the entrenched George Thomas. However, the attack forced Rosecrans to shift troops to aid Thomas, weakening the Federal right flank for James Longstreet's breakthrough.

3 Mix-up in the Union Command Shortly before 11 a.m. on September 20, Rosecrans received an erroneous report that Brig. Gen. John M. Brannan's division was out of position. Moving to fill the hole he withdrew Thomas Wood's division and moved it north.

4 Confederate Breakthrough Thomas Wood held the line at this position. Ordered to withdraw and fill a hole to the north, Wood's movement created a hole that was exploited by John Bell Hood The Confederate charge began in the woods behind you, past the Brotherton Cabin and across the field to the Federal line in the trees. The attack drove troops under the command of J. C. Davis and Phillip Sheridan from the field.

5 Cost of Chickamauga One of the bloodiest battles of the war, 18,000 Confederates and 16,000 Union soldiers were lost. Chickamauga, a Cherokee word, means "River of Blood".

6 Wilder Brigade Monument The monument, built in 1899 to commemorate the charge of the Wilder Brigade is undergoing extensive repair. Here, Colonel John Wilder and his brigade fought a delaying action against Longstreet's advancing rebels, giving Thomas the time to form a line on Snodgrass Hill.

7 Retreat on the Union Right Fully routed, the Union line fled along with three of the four commanding officers, including Rosecrans.

8 Snodgrass Hill In one of the bravest actions of the entire Civil War General George Thomas, giving orders directly to enlisted men, formed a line along the ridge by this cabin. Low on ammunition and exhausted, the men withstood at least 7 rebel assaults on the line. Gordon Grainger, held in reserve, advanced without orders to re-supply and support the beleaguered Federals (a href="/history/granger.html">more).

Additional Chickamauga web pages

Prelude to Chickamauga tells the story of the events leading up to the battle.
Chickamauga is a vivid account of the battle.

From Our Georgia History:


Chickamauga:The South's Last Hurrah is a pictorial trip around the battlefield
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park Home Page contains much information about visiting the park.

Location: South of Fort Oglethorpe to Chickamauga city
Directions: Take I-75 to exit 350, Battlefield Pkwy and go west (towards Fort Oglethorpe. Turn left on U. S. 27 then right into the Park
Additional information:

Date added: November 16, 2003
Last update: March 9, 2004

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