Roy Exum: Civil War Tours Today!

Sunday, November 18, 2012 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

I come from a long line of folks who knew a great deal about the Civil War but admit the War Between the States has never held much allure with me. When Sunday lunch conversation would turn to the battles fought in and around Chattanooga I’d whistle up the dogs and do something else rather than hear how the Confederates laid siege to our area and tried to starve the Yankees.

In my later years, I’ve regretted my ignorance in many things – maybe that’s why I try so hard to learn about stuff today – so imagine my delight when “the parade of providence” put a curious cross of a teacher and a park ranger in my path on Saturday. And for a chicken-salad sandwich, I finally learned about The Battles of Chattanooga.

A vibrant girl named Lindsey Davis, who helps guide tours for the National Park Service when she is not teaching high school history at the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy, explained to me that exactly 149 years ago today, this place was literally crawling with Confederate and Yankee soldiers. This next week marks the anniversaries of the Battle of Orchard Knob, the Battle of Lookout Mountain, and the Battle of Missionary Ridge.

But what you need to know --- as a particularly gorgeous Sunday in here – is that the National Park Service has a stunning day planned today for anyone who is curious about Chattanooga’s role in the Civil War, why “The Gateway to the South” was right here, and what the “Death Knell of the Confederacy” was all about. There are guided tours, lectures, artillery demonstrations and enactments that should be sensational.

AT POINT PARK on Lookout Mountain, there will be guided tours at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. There will be artillery demonstrations at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. There will be Confederate Infantry Demonstrations at 10:45 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 1:45 p.m., and 3:15 p.m.

AT CRAVENS HOUSE guests will learn about “The Battle Above the Clouds” that was held on Robert Cravens’ property between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Cravens House is located on the side of Lookout Mountain)

AT BROWN’S FERRY -- Park Historian Jim Ogden will lead a one-mile, 90-minute walk that will explain the pontoon bridge and the “Cracker Line” at 9:30 a.m. (The tour begins along Moccasin Bend Road just north of Hamm Road – Take the Manufacturer’s Road exit west from U.S. Hwy 27  and follow the “Special Event” signs.

RINGGOLD GAP – Park Ranger Lee White will lead a 90-minute driving tour at 1:30 p.m. that will focus on the “small but vicious” fight between the troops of Gen. Hooker and Gen. Cleburne at 1:30 p.m. Guests should gather in the parking lot of the Ingles Supermarket, located at 5044 Alabama Hwy. in Ringgold)

ROSSVILE GAP – Park historian Jim Ogden will lead a two-hour, two-mile round trip walking tour that explores “Fightin’ Joe” Hooker’s role in the Battle of Missionary Ridge. Guests should meet at 2 p.m. at the historic John Ross House in Rossville, which is located off Chickamauga Ave./U.S. 27 behind the Bi-Lo supermarket.

MISSIONARY RIDGE – Park Ranger Gerry Allen will deliver a one-hour presentation on “The Second Minnesota and the Case of the Shifting Monument at the DeLong Reservation on Missionary Ridge at 2:30 p.m.

NATIONAL  CEMETERY – Park Ranger Christopher Young will present a one-hour program on “the last full measure of devotion” at 3 p.m. Guests should gather at the Andrews Raiders Monument located to the right of the entrance gate on Holtzclaw Avenue.

* * *

Next weekend there are other functions planned by the National Park Service and full details can be found on the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park website. Of course, this is just a prelude to next year’s Sesquicentennial Celebration.

royexum@aol.com


Worse And Worser

We hear a lot about voter apathy, citizens of this, the greatest nation to ever grace the face of Planet Terra, these United States of America, who fail to take advantage of their right, nay, accept their responsibility to participate in government of this great nation. How many of us know citizens who don't vote? Worse yet, how many of us know citizens who aren't even registered ... (click for more)

Howley Has New Ideas And New Energy For Signal Mountain

Over the last several years, I have had the opportunity to serve with Chris Howley on the Signal Mountain Recreation Advisory Board.  During this time, I obtained an insight into the qualities that make Chris Howley an outstanding candidate to serve on the Signal Mountain Town Council.Chris has spent countless hours on the board overseeing the numerous recreation leagues and ... (click for more)

Downtown Chattanooga Apartment Complex That Brought $3 Million Profit Exempt From Most Taxes Until 2022 Under PILOT

A downtown Chattanooga apartment complex that recently was sold at a $3 million profit is exempt from most property taxes through 2022 under a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement.   No payment of school taxes was included in the deal for Walnut Commons at Walnut Street and Aquarium Way.   The only taxes due on the property for the next eight ... (click for more)

Chickamauga Lock To Reopen As Soon As Next Thursday

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District  plans to reopen Chickamauga Lock to all navigation traffic as early as next Thursday. An inspection of the upper gate anchorage and a repair plan were completed today. Chickamauga Lock closed on Monday after a routine inspection revealed a crack in the anchorage of the upper gate. Lt. Col. John Hudson, commander ... (click for more)

Owls Beat McMinn, 30-12, To Complete Unbeaten Regular Season

Undefeated. Sounds nice, huh. After a sluggish first half that produced only three points on a Laszlo Toser field goa., third-ranked Ooltewah came to life in the third quarter, riddled McMinn County’s defense with three Kelvin Leon touchdown passes in the third quarter and went on to beat the Cherokees, 30-12, at James N. Monroe Stadium to secure the school’s third unbeaten ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Clobbers Grundy Co. For 7-AA Title

Notre Dame coach Charles Fant is always hoping that his Fighting Irish football team can get off to a fast start. He never thought it would be as quick as what he saw Thursday night at Jim Eberle Field. With a District 7-AA championship on the line on an evening when they honored all of the fall senior athletes, a football game turned into a track meet and eventually a victory ... (click for more)