Chickamauga Battlefield in Photos and Postcards From the 1960's & 1970's

James N.

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#1
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In anticipation of the upcoming Civil War Talk gathering at Chickamauga Battlefield slated for next month as well as the upcoming anniversary of the September 18 - 20, 1863 battle, I decided to resurrect photos and mementoes from my previous visits. The first time I visited there was with my friend Mike (@mkyzzzrdet) who will be joining me this time too; it was in August, 1964 during the Civil War Centennial and we had just graduated from high school that May and were preparing to enter college in a few weeks. The park brochure above and a few postcards like the one below are all I have to show from that particular visit. (The following captions that are in italics are the exact texts from the backs of the cards.)

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GEORGIA MONUMENT CHICKAMAUGA BATTLEFIELD 'To the memory of all her sons who fought on this field-those who fought and died, those who gave much, and those who gave all-Georgia erects this monument." Monument Inscription: Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. Above is a postcard showing the Georgia State Monument located near the center of the park along Lafayette Road, the main thoroughfare; below is my photo of the same area taken during my next visit a decade later in 1977.

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Douglas' Texas Battery CSA Markers
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At that time I was relatively new in reenacting and the local group to which I belonged called itself Douglas' Texas Battery after a unit of men raised in Dallas and Tyler, Texas. During the battle of Chickamauga it was attached to the division commanded by Maj. Gen. Patrick Cleburne and I was especially interested in finding its battlefield marker above. In the background can be seen the position sign below which denotes their position on Sept. 20. These markers turned out to be buried somewhat in the woods off the beaten path of the regular park tour.

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The six-pounder guns below are also placed where Douglas' Battery was in action. One of their notable exploits involved one of the pieces being manhandled forward over abandoned Union breastworks during the night of Sept. 19 - 20 by Capt. Douglas and some of his men.

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Battleline Road
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BATTLELINE ROAD, CHICKAMAUGA BATTLEFIELD The monuments along this road are regimental memorials placed by Union veterans in the 1890's as the park was being developed. They mark the battle positions of the units the morning of September 20, 1863, the last day of the battle. Note on the monument at left the acorn that was the corps badge insignia of the Federal Fourteenth Corps.

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The monuments on Battleline Road are on the site of temporary breastworks like those depicted on the monument of the 16th U. S. Regular Infantry below that were hastily erected during the course of the battle.

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Brotherton House - Site of Confederate Breakthrough
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BROTHERTON HOUSE. Site where the Confederate troops under Gen. James Longstreet broke the Union line on September 20, 1863, during the Battle of Chickamauga. The building is typical of several homes located within Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.

Wilder Tower
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The tower is the largest structure on the battlefield and was built by Col. John Wilder whose "Lightning Brigade" of Indiana Mounted Infantry engaged the Confederates here in the area that had been the headquarters of the Union army in another tiny cabin of the Widow Glenn, the site of which is marked by the sign below. Gen Rosecrans and his staff were caught up in the rout and Wilder and his men covered their withdrawal.

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The Wilder Tower has usually been open on a sporadic basis; fortunately during my visit was one of those occasions! The photo above shows the cannon and monuments also seen on the postcard below.

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WILDER MEMORIAL - Chickamauga Battlefield. Erected to honor the men in Gen. John T. Wilder's mounted infantry brigade. After the war, Wilder moved from his native Indiana to nearby Chattanooga and became a major industrialist, philanthropist, and mayor and ramrodded the creation of this, the very first National Military Park.

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Other monuments include pyramids of cannonballs like the one above erected in memory of the commander of the Confederate Kentucky Orphan Brigade, Gen. Benjamin Hardin Helm, brother-in-law of First Lady Mary Lincoln; and the Texas State monument below. There are other mortuary monuments for Union generals Hans C. Heg and William H. Lytle and Confederate General James Deshler, commander of the Texas Brigade.

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The Snodgrass House
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The final Union position at Snodgrass Hill features another reconstructed cabin that served as headquarters for Union General George H. Thomas; this stop is the last on the driving tour. As can be seen from the map on the NPS brochure, even back in the 1960's the final day of the battle, September 20, received the most attention!

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bdtex

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#6
Nice work James. How many times have you been to Chickamauga?
 

James N.

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Nice work James. How many times have you been to Chickamauga?
First, let me say I was mistaken as to the date of these photos; though unimportant, for accuracy it was Memorial Day of 1979. That was the second time, because the 1964 visit was correctly reported as my first. Between them and most recently in 2014 and again this April, I'm not sure whether I'd been back or not! I passed through Georgia and Atlanta on my way to work on Glory and did visit Kennesaw Mountain, but I believe I simply passed through Chattanooga without stopping. Here's a shot of the same guns at the Wilder Tower as seen on the postcard taken earlier this year:

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#11
Were the Texas monuments at Shiloh and Corinth placed around the same time as the one in your photo. They all look similar, but I guess I thought they are much newer than they actually are.
 

James N.

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Were the Texas monuments at Shiloh and Corinth placed around the same time as the one in your photo. They all look similar, but I guess I thought they are much newer than they actually are.
They began as projects of the Texas Civil War Centennial Commission in the 1960's but have continued to be placed very recently. I believe the one at Corinth was placed only a few years ago.
 

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