Tours Offered Both Friday and Saturday
— You will select which day you wish to attend —
The Chattanooga Battles One-Day Overview
with Parker Hills
or with A. Wilson Greene (Saturday only)
Descripton: After its defeat at Chickamauga, the besieged Army of the Cumberland hunkered down in Chattanooga, threatened on three sides by the reinforced Army of Tennessee. The waters of the Tennessee River completed the encirclement, so Ulysses Grant was ordered from Vicksburg to Chattanooga to break the siege. En route Grant relieved Rosecrans by telegram, and George Thomas found himself in command of the besieged Army of the Cumberland. Thomas wired Grant, saying, “we will hold the town till we starve.”
Late on a rainy Friday, 23 October 1863, a bone-weary and rain-soaked Grant slipped through Confederate lines on horseback to cross the Tennessee River and arrive in Chattanooga. Grant knew that his initial problem was to establish a supply line to feed the suffering army. It was the dead of winter; it was wet and cold, and the men and animals of the Army of the Cumberland were hungry. After food, fodder, and ammunition were procured, the second problem was to break the siege.
The one-day Chattanooga Battles bus tour will visit sites associated with the accomplishment of Grant’s two military objectives, both of which were achieved from the 27th of October to the 25th of November 1863. Stops include: Lookout Mountain, Brown’s Ferry, Wauhatchie, Orchard Knob, Missionary Ridge and more. Some stops will require moderately challenging walking.
with Keith Bohannon
Description: This one-day bus tour will provide a general overview of the three main days of fighting at Chickamauga, September 18-20, 1863. After an orientation at the visitor center, we will drive to Reed’s Bridge, the scene of some of the earliest fighting on September 18. Then we will visit sites associated with the heavy combat on Sept 19, including Jay’s Mill, Winfrey Field, and the Vinyard Farm. Following a stop for lunch, we will spend the afternoon going to stops where decisive fighting took place on Sept 20, including Battle Line Road, the Poe Field, the Brotherton cabin (scene of Longstreet’s breakthrough), and the Dyer Field. Our final stop will be at Snodgrass Hill where Union General George Thomas earned his nickname “the Rock of Chickamauga.” The tour will involve only light walking for short distances.
The Road to Chickamauga
with William Glenn Robertson
Description: Before the Army of the Cumberland and the Army of Tennessee clashed in the Battle of Chickamauga, they maneuvered for three weeks in a complex campaign conducted in a rugged and scenic region. On the offensive, William Rosecrans’s army had to build a massive logistics base to sustain itself while crossing four major geographical obstacles (the Cumberland Plateau, the Tennessee River, Sand Mountain, and Lookout Mountain), all before coming to grips with its enemy. Realizing he was too weak to hold the long river line when Rosecrans advanced, Braxton Bragg evacuated Chattanooga and maneuvered beyond Lookout Mountain to defeat the widely-scattered Federals in detail. Twice he tried and twice he failed to bring Rosecrans to battle, prior to Chickamauga. This day-long tour will follow the Army of the Cumberland’s advance by visiting the Federal logistics base, its multiple river crossing sites, and its routes over the mountain barriers. It will then visit the sites associated with Bragg’s two offensive efforts, McLemore’s Cove and Lee and Gordon’s Mill, before culminating on the edge of the Chickamauga battlefield. By the end of the day, tour attendees will have a new appreciation for the struggles of both armies in one of the most scenic, complex, and difficult campaign areas in the American Civil War. This is a limited walking tour, with considerable amount of time on the bus.