Chattanooga residents, visitors, educators and others seeking to understand the historic Civil War Battle of Chattanooga now have a new opportunity. Urban Battle Tours, an organization dedicated to preserving the memory of historic battles now masked by urban settings, has created a fun and educational bus tour to explore and understand this important battle. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the battle, which was fought Nov. 23-25, 1863.
The 90-minute bus tour begins with a brief history of Chattanooga’s founding and its important role and strategic location during the Civil War. Key events of the war up to 1863 are provided, as well as the strategic goals of both armies and their leaders. The route takes participants by several state historical markers and monuments. Participants will also see historic Orchard Knob, the Bragg Reservation on Missionary Ridge and Chattanooga’s National Cemetery where more than 12,000 Union soldiers are buried.
“The Battle of Chattanooga was a critical event during the Civil War. Unfortunately most of the battlefield where thousands of Americans desperately fought and died has been paved over by the passing of time and urban development,” said Urban Battle Tours President Matt Spaulding. “Gettysburg, Antietam and other historic battlefields are national treasures. We hope that by some small measure our tours, like those at National Military Parks, will keep the memory of these urban battles alive. It’s important to honor those Americans who sacrificed in defense of their country while also putting the battle into a larger context.”
Upcoming tour dates are set for Saturday, May 4, and Saturday, June 1. Both tours will begin at 10 a.m. The starting point will be at 503 Market Street, the corner of Market and 5th streets in downtown Chattanooga at the Chattanooga Ducks Parking Lot. Ticket prices are $30 for adults and $25 for seniors, military and children ages three to 12. Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.urbanbattletours.com or onsite the day of each tour. However, space is limited, so reservations are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Public parking is available near the tour’s starting point.
The bus tours are being offered in partnership with Chattanooga Double Decker, one of the city’s preeminent touring companies that employs a vintage 1960 British double-decker touring bus. More dates and times will be added for July and August.
The Battle of Chattanooga, primarily fought Nov. 24 and 25, 1863, was a crushing defeat for the Confederates and a strategically important victory for the Union. Union General U.S. Grant and his men, under siege in Chattanooga for two months following their loss at the nearby Battle of Chickamauga, forced the out-manned rebels from their advantageous positions on Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge. The victory propelled Grant to command of all Union forces and opened up the Deep South to invasion by Grant’s friend and colleague General William T. Sherman.
Urban Battle Tours offers a fun, unique and educational way to explore historic American battles that have been “lost” over time through urban development. Because the battlefields are now paved roads, neighborhoods or commercial districts, our primary goal is preserving the memory of these battles, the men who fought them and the important roles they played in the history of our country. We offer tours for the general public, as well as specially customized tours for large groups and educators. Urban Battle Tours currently conducts tours for the Civil War battles in Atlanta and Chattanooga. For more information, please visitwww.urbanbattletours.com