After driving past the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park several times on our trips from Alabama to Atlanta, we finally allowed ourselves plenty of time to stop and explore last spring. This battlefield in Northern Georgia was the first to become a national military park and was used as a model for those that would follow- Gettysburg, Shiloh and Vicksburg. We began our tour at the Visitor's Center where we enjoyed touring the museum-like exhibits and the impressive collection of firearms from a private collection.
You won't want to miss watching the free 23-minute film, "The Battle of Chickamauga" that is shown every hour on the hour. If you're from the North, you'll leave with a better appreciation of the South's opinion of the war.
The seven-mile driving tour will allow you to see the major points of interest in the park. You can enhance your tour by purchasing an audio tour from the bookstore, or you can also access the Dial and Discover service on your cell phone free, depending on your usage terms. For some reason, we weren't able to access any information after the 7th stop, but that could have just been a glitch the day we visited. Along the tour, not only will you hear about the events that took place leading to a short lived victory for the South, you'll also see over 600 monuments recognizing all the regiments that participated in the battle.
Although the South won the battle, the Union managed to gain control of Chattanooga, the gateway to the Deep South, as they'd hoped.
Today as you visit, it's hard to believe that such a beautiful, serene setting was once the site of one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War. '
While we spent several hours exploring only the Chickamauga Battlefield before the impending rain clouds chased us away. If you're in the area and you're interested, you may also choose to visit Lookout Mountain Battlefield, Point Park, Missionary Ridge and the Chattanooga National Cemetery.
There you have it, a bit about our day at the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park.