Marker At Confederate Cemetery Calls It "Sacred Ground"

Saturday, August 19, 2017 - by John Wilson

A marker at the Confederate Cemetery on East Third Street calls it "sacred ground," but Mayor Andy Berke said the city is taking legal steps to disavow the historic spot across from the UTC campus.

The Confederate Cemetery was established not far from the National Cemetery.  

A number of Confederate soldiers who had died in the first months of 1863 had been buried near the old Citizens Cemetery east of town within sight of the river. A few casualties from the fighting at Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge were also moved here.

In their midst are two Union soldiers who died while they were prisoners at Chattanooga.

The body of a hospital nurse also lies in the Confederate Cemetery.

This burial place was in a low and unsightly plot. Then a number of the dead soldiers were moved to higher ground nearby in what became known as the Confederate Cemetery.

There are soldiers from 11 Southern states interred there.

The names of many of the soldiers buried there has never been determined. They were simply warriors in gray who had fallen in the battle at Stone's River or who had succumbed to sickness during the journey to Chattanooga.

The Confederate Cemetery lies on the old Gardenhire farm in between the Jewish Cemetery and the Citizens Cemetery, where many of the city's pioneer settlers are buried.

Its ornate limestone entryway was often depicted in early photographs. The limestone was likely quarried at the Stone Fort by 11th Street.

In the center of the cemetery is the Monument to the Confederate Dead.

Some later prominent Chattanooga busnessmen, who fought on the Southern side, are buried there along with their wives.

One is Col. James Cooper Nisbet, who was originally from Dade County and wrote a memoir of his experiences during the war.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans tend to the cemetery.



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