Please join us on Saturday, March 17th, 2018, as we tour the battlefield and learn more about Missionary Ridge, the Chattanooga Campaign and the men who fought in it. We are pleased to have return as our guide, Jim Ogden, Chief Historian at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. This tour will start at 9 a.m. In Chattanooga and end about 5. The tour will proceed, rain or shine. We have two options for getting to Chattanooga: people can drive directly at a future designated location or carpool by meeting up and departing from the large Walmart parking lot at Turkey Creek near Chick-fil-A at 7 a.m.
This will be the KCWRT’s third trip with Jim Ogden covering different portions of the Battle of Chattanooga. The first tour covered Sherman’s army’s approach and eventual attack against Cleburne’s men on the northern portion of Missionary Ridge at Tunnel Hill. The second tour was at the opposite end on the Union line covering the Battle of Lookout Mountain, where recently arrived soldiers from the XI and XII Corps of the Army of the Potomac under Gen. Hooker clashed with Confederate soldiers from Cheatham and Stevenson’s Divisions of the Army of Tennessee. This coming March 17th we will tour the central portion of Missionary Ridge.
After the defeat at the Battle of Chickamauga the prior September, the Army of the Cumberland needed a chance to redeem itself in the eyes of the Federal High Command. General Grant and his staff observed the attack on Missionary Ridge on November 25, 1863, from a position on Orchard Knob just outside the city of Chattanooga. In order to take pressure off Sherman’s stalled attacks at Tunnel Hill against Confederate troops under the command of Gen. Patrick Cleburne, Grant ordered Gen. Thomas to move the Army of the Cumberland forward to take the Confederate rifle pits at the base of Missionary Ridge. However, after reaching the rifle pits, the Union soldiers without orders spontaneously charged up Missionary Ridge breaking the center of the Confederate line and forcing Bragg’s Army to withdraw from Chattanooga, thereby lifting the siege.
For some good reading on the Battle of Chattanooga and the actions on Missionary Ridge, see Blue and Gray Magazine’s 2013, #6, issue written by the late Wiley Sword; “The Shipwreck of Their Hopes: The Battle for Chattanooga”, by Peter Cozzens; or visit the Civil War Trust’s web page, which has extensive information on the battle and some of the people who fought it in.
If you plan to go on the Missionary Ridge tour and have not yet notified us, please email Neil Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org or Norman Shaw at email@example.com so we can add your names to the list.
—by Neil J. Williams and Norman C. Shaw