The Chickamauga & Chattanooga Campaigns –
Gateway to the South
Chattanooga was the gateway to the heart of the Confederacy and its importance was recognized by North and South. The Confederate counterattack along Chickamauga Creek blunted the Union advance into Georgia. Following up their battlefield victory, the Confederates began a siege of Chattanooga. A change in leadership brought tough, pugnacious General Grant to the scene. Immediately, changes to improve the Federal situation began to happen. In these campaigns, the ebb and flow of each side’s machinations explain much about the length and cost of the American Civil War.
The tour provides an in-depth look at two of the most important campaigns of the American Civil War. These key events in the waning days of 1863 provided the foundation for the major campaigns of 1864 and the end of the war. Not only are the strategy and tactics examined, but also the local residents to whom the war raged around them. Caught up in the swirl of military activity around them, we will become aware of the perspectives and emotions of all those involved – willing or not.
Learning about the places and people involved is facilitated by our professional historian who will accompany the tour, serving as a constant resource of historical knowledge and insight. We will follow in the footsteps of soldiers North and South during the campaigns. A more intimate knowledge of the sacrifice and courage made by soldier and civilian alike can serve to inspire future generations.
Day 1: Welcome/Orientation
Tour participants will meet at our hotel for a welcoming reception. The tour historian will give an introduction followed by an orientation to the tour. Following the welcome/orientation, we will then go to dinner at a restaurant nearby.
Day 2: The Tullahoma Campaign
The little-known summer campaign in Middle Tennessee begins our tour. Overshadowed by the Gettysburg and Vicksburg campaigns, General Rosecrans’ maneuvering pushed the Confederates completely out of Middle Tennessee with few casualties – a brilliant piece of strategy. After pinning Bragg and his army in Chattanooga, Rosecrans paused along the Tennessee River before resuming his advance.
Day 3: Chattanooga Valley, GA
Today we follow the route of Federal units as they cross the Tennessee River and forced Bragg out of Chattanooga. In his retreat from Chattanooga, Bragg attempted to ambush one of Rosecrans’ divisions at McLemore’s Cove and Dug Gap. Tour stops include the historic Crawfish Springs, the Gordon-Lee Mansion and the Lee & Gordon’s Mills. Last stop is at the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park Visitor Center.
Day 4: Chickamauga, GA
The oldest preserved Civil War battlefield, Chickamauga is our focus today. We shall cover the major scenes of combat. The location of the Confederate breakthrough at the Brotherton Farm and the stubborn Federal rear guard fight on Snodgrass Hill/Horseshoe Ridge are included in our tour.
Day 5: “The Battle Above the Clouds”
Another often overlooked site vital to the Federals breaking the Confederate siege of Chattanooga is our first destination; it involves a short hike, but nothing strenuous. We move on to the major sites associated with the Battle Above the Clouds including the Craven House and the scenic summit of Lookout Mountain where it is said you can see seven states on a clear day.
Day 6: “All hell can’t stop them”
On the final day we will explore several preserved portions of the Missionary Ridge battlefield - the site of the final Federal assault. What began as a probing attack turned into a full-scale assault on the Confederate positions on top of the heights. The locations of the positions will be considered tactically from Chattanooga Valley to Tunnel Hill. Some hill-walking is involved, but nothing strenuous. We return to the hotel and then walk to a farewell dinner.
Day 7: Departures
After breakfast, shuttles will take guests to the Chattanooga Airport.
Most of the locations we visit do not require any physical exertion other than walking portions of a battlefield. One site on Lookout Mountain and one site on Missionary Ridge require walking up and down slight grades, but nothing strenuous.