Sunday, December 12, 2010

Civil War

I learned about the Civil War during school as all children do. To me it was long ago dates, slavery was abolished and the Union remained intact. Being a native Oregonian, the closest to the Civil War I ever got was the annual Oregon / Oregon State football game. The US history that was most real to me were the Oregon Trail pioneers and World War II (benefit of have a veteran father).

On a too cold to climb day, we drove just across the Georgia border to visit the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. The park was formed in 1890 by vote of Congress. The veterans of the Chickamauga battle returned and erected monuments where each state had been. I am sure military historians would find this park even more interesting than I did. It is a huge park with a great museum and antique gun collection. After getting a stamp in our National Parks Passport, we headed out on the driving tour.

Along the drive through woods and in open fields are monuments and canons marking battle lines. As we drove along Battleline Road, I was struck with the reality of the war and the battle fought at Chickamauga. In the woods on both sides of the road were stately monuments marking positions. I could only imagine a similar cold day and the soldiers firing single shot rifles through the trees. For the first time the Civil War seemed real to me.

This photo is just one of the battle lines with the Georgia state monument in the background.

While in Chattanooga we visited Lookout Mountain. This is where the Rebel forces laid siege to Chattanooga for two months after their victory at Chickamauga. The Union won the battle for geographically strategic Chattanooga.

We also visited Allatoona Pass which was a strategic railway and supply road. The house in the background of the photo to the left served as a field hospital. It is now a private residence.

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