Hindsight is Better

Trip Start Mar 07, 1997
Trip End Dec 25, 1998

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Friday, November 20, 1998

Go with me? We're headed for Missionary Ridge and a two-mile walk on a major chunk of history. It's been 135 years since the Confederate forces lost Chattanooga to the Union troops right there on the Ridge, and our Sunday afternoon guide will explain what happened, and why.

Lookout Mountain District Ranger Charlie Spearman is our leader as we hike the Breakthrough Area between Bragg and Delong Reservations, otherwise known as Crest Drive. The beautiful homes with the valley-wide views look peaceful now. But many yards are dotted with cannons and historic markers, evidence of bitter times.

What happened on November 25, 1863? According to Ranger Spearman, two factors led to the fall of the Confederate line. First of all, they dug their trenches at the military crest of the Ridge, rather than the geographic crest. The steepest part of the Ridge would have offered more protection. And they had a small gap in their line, which was where the breakthrough began.

You don't have to be a Civil War buff to appreciate the amazing story of failed strategies and heartwrenching confusion as our guide points out each step of the action. And the Crest Drive tour is but one of many "Battles for Chattanooga" commemorative events taking place during the weekend. Meet at the Bragg Reservation at 2 pm Sunday for it.

You can put more pieces into the Missionary Ridge puzzle by following General Sherman's actions in a tour that begins at 2 pm Saturday in the Tennessee Riverpark. Plus there will be events on Lookout Mountain both days, most beginning at Cravens House, and a tour of Civil Was sites in the Moccasin Bend area. This is a great opportunity to understand more of the reality of the people who lived the war. See you there.

Battles for Chattanooga Anniversary, Lookout Mountain, Moccasin Bend, and Missionary Ridge, Chattanooga
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